Mentoring is a critical component at all stages of academic and professional careers. The IEEE UFFC Society is looking to broaden mentorship and networking experiences within our community. As part of this effort, we are launching a pilot mentorship program to pair mentors and mentees.
Participants in the program are matched with a mentor/mentee based on career stage, technical area, and goals for the mentorship experience. After a program kickoff meeting, the mentoring plan and goals are identified by the pair. They will meet periodically over the course of the next 6 months. We have the following workshops planned to help build a trustable and effective mentor-mentee relationship. The pilot program will wrap up with a virtual meeting and networking session during the annual International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) in September 2021. It is our hope that these mentoring relationships will endure after the pilot program and that the UFFC-S Mentorship Program will grow to accommodate a greater share of the society’s membership.
Click here to view Networking and Mentorship Program Round One participant profiles.
DateGeographic LocationInternational Ultrasonics Symposium
Frequently Asked Questions
The final decision on this is dependent on the mentor. Various factors may affect this, such as the time and energy they can commit to the role, their workload, and other commitments.
How many mentors can each mentee have?
It is recommended that a mentee has a single mentor at any one time and that entering into a mentoring partnership has been approved by the mentee’s supervisor.
How do I get the most from the mentoring partnership?
A successful mentoring partnership is a career development experience. It provides great value to the mentor and mentee and is to be enjoyed by both participants. The mentoring relationship is based on trust, honesty, and mutual respect. It is therefore expected that the mentee and mentor behave in a professional manner and that information shared within the relationship remains confidential.
To get the most out of a mentoring relationship, both mentees and mentors should read the guidance on Qualities, Roles, and Responsibilities on the Resources page. In essence, both mentors and mentees should be:
- Enthusiastic, motivated, and committed
- Aware of and willing to discuss expectations, strengths, and areas for improvement
- Able to listen, and be open to new ideas
- Good with time management and self-management
- Respectful, engaging, and challenging, with good communication and interpersonal skills
- Assertive, realistic, and discreet
- Knowledgeable or able to get information
- Challenging and analytical
- Able to change/accept change
Additionally, mentors must be:
- Motivating and able to demonstrate leadership
- Honest and able to give constructive advice
- Willing and able to act as a role model
Does the level of experience of a mentor matter?
Not necessarily, but mentees are likely to benefit from a mentor who has more experience and knowledge – either in a general or specific area. Typically, mentors will be members, senior members, or Fellows of the UFFC-S. Student members can only participate as mentees in this program.
What are my options if approached to be a mentor?
If approached to be a mentor, there are a number of options you can consider. In joining the program, you are under no obligation to participate in a mentoring partnership that you deem unsuitable. As the mentor, you have the discretion to be available for mentoring partnerships that you deem appropriate and workable. However, before committing to a mentoring partnership, please familiarize yourself with “Mentor Qualities, Roles and Responsibilities” in the Resources section and ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have the time to invest and make the commitment to a mentoring partnership?
- Do I have knowledge/experience I am willing to share and that could be useful to another person?
- Can I use this as a personal and/or professional development opportunity?
- What type or style of mentoring would I be interested in?
- Would I be open to being mentored myself?
- Am I motivated to maintain a positive relationship with my mentee?
- Would I be pleased to provide impartial advice and opportunities for them?
- Am I willing to learn from the relationship and listen to any feedback the mentee may have?
- Do I have or am I able to develop the required listening and feedback skills?
How long does a mentoring relationship last?
There is no set time for how long a mentor and mentee will work together. Some find that they have a handful of sessions within a few months; others will interact many times over much longer periods of time. The length of the relationship is completely up to the mentor and mentee to decide. Generally, six months is a good length of time for a mentoring relationship to develop. Mentors and mentees are strongly encouraged to specify an intended date to review progress and to discuss the opportunity to continue or conclude the mentoring partnership.
What can I do to maintain a positive working relationship?
- Meet regularly – fortnightly or at least monthly to allow the relationship to develop.
- Agree on expectations of each other and the partnership itself.
- Establish an agreement about expectations of each other and the relationship itself.
- Contact each other even when you don’t need something.
- Respect each other’s time.
- Keep your conversations confidential – unless you agree otherwise.
- Ask questions of each other and share information about yourself.
- Keep commitments to each other.
- Know when to call it quits – maintain respect when it is time to conclude the arrangement.
What if my mentoring relationship isn’t working?
The responsibility for concluding a mentoring relationship sits with either mentor or mentee who should conclude it respectfully through a discussion with the other person. If there are any issues, you should contact the UFFC-S Mentoring Coordinator.