Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the Broader Engagement (BE) Mentor Program:
- How much time should I spend with the participant?
We recommend that you spend at least one session with the participant. This can be coffee, lunch, or just a relaxing chat. You then may decide to participate in a few other activities together throughout the conference. An initial meeting, plus one or two activities (tour of the exhibit floor, technical session, booth duty, lunch discussion, corporate event, etc.) would be ideal. If you do not have the time to have at least one initial meeting, please let us know, and we will assign your protégé another mentor. (Susan T. Brown, 808-375-6821, firstname.lastname@example.org)
- When should I meet the participant?
You can set up a time to meet the participant any time that suits both you and your protégé, but should be a consistent time so you both know when you can definitely catch each other. We recommend that you schedule the first meeting early in the week to be of some benefit for your protégé during the remainder of the conference. Monday evening at the opening exhibit gala would be a good opportunity to connect with your student.
- Do you have any suggested meeting places?
- If you are arriving on Saturday, November 15, the BE participants have an Orientation from 4 — 5:30 pm in Ballroom E. If you would like to arrange to meet with them before the Orientation, that would be convenient for them, and a nice kick-off to their week.
- The Monday Evening Gala may also be a good place to meet and discuss on a very informal basis, to get to know one another. Landmarks may be a little tricky!
- The Broader Engagement Booth is always a convenient place to meet and find one another at any time during the conference. The booth is located in the lobby near registration.
- When looking for places to lunch, have coffee, etc., I understand that there are many places within walking distance of the Convention Center. You can consult the conference website, http://scyourway.nacse.org/, for more information on places nearby.
- Should I call or email the participant prior to SC08?
Absolutely! We recommend emailing to arrange the first meeting so that you have your initial plans set before you arrive. You can begin your networking before the event.
- What kinds of things should we do/talk about?
For many of the participants, this is their first SC. They would likely want some tips as to where they should spend their time, how to get the most out of the conference, how to easily navigate the conference, etc. We have made an effort to match mentors and protégés according to technical backgrounds and goals, so you may be able to talk about career goals with your protégé. It is also important for both of you to discuss your expectations on beginning this new relationship at the conference and hopefully beyond the conference. In any case, it would be a good idea to start the conversation by asking the participant what they would like to get out of the association, what they would like to discuss, and what kinds of activities they would like to do. Remember, if their goals and wishes for the association are totally contrary to yours, or you don't think you can provide the participant what they are looking for, you can contact the Mentor Program chair (Susan T. Brown, 808-375-6821, email@example.com) and request a change. Of course we hope this will not happen, but we would rather find another mentor for the participant, and have a harmonious match, than have a pair just “make do” and have a poor experience.
- What should I do if I cannot find the participant I am assigned?
If you have trouble in communicating with your student before you arrive, or in finding your protégé when you arrive at the conference, or could not contact him prior to the conference, please contact the Mentor Program chair (Susan T. Brown, 808-375-6821, firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will try to locate he or she for you.
- What can I do to ensure that the experience is rewarding for the student?
- Set expectations, interests and goal—short- and long-term. Make sure that there is a clear understanding and agreement between student and mentor.
- What can I do to help promote the sustainability of the program?
- Give us feedback on your experience and also communicate via the conference survey that you think this is a worthwhile program. Any suggestions you have for improving it are very welcome.
- What metrics are being used to measure the success of this program?
Just a few of the metrics we use to evaluate the program are:
- Number of mentors recruited for the program
- Feedback of mentors and participants that participated in the program
- Number of times mentors/protégés were able to meet
- Variety of Activities mentors/protégés participated in together
- Longevity of the relationship - beyond the SC08 conference
- Do you have any suggestions for the novice mentor to ensure that the experience works for both mentor and protégée?
- Make sure that expectations are clearly defined and agreed between mentor and participant
- Pull together a plan to help make a good experience
- What activities are mandatory for the mentor?
We want you to meet with the student for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour (one session/meeting) during the conference. If you cannot spend at least one meeting, or session with the participant assigned to you, please contact the Mentor Program chair (Susan T. Brown, 808-375-6821, email@example.com) so she can assign an alternate mentor to the participant.
- Are there any deadlines or reporting requirements?
We would like for you to meet with your student by Tuesday. We will send you an evaluation to complete after the conference. Although completion of this evaluation is not mandatory, your feedback will help us to improve the program and provide a better program in future years. We encourage you to complete the evaluation in a timely manner.
- Who do I contact in the event of an emergency?
If a life-threatening or personal emergency occurs while in the ACC, the appropriate first action would be to call 4111 (and yes, that is a 4 with three 1's) from a house phone or contact any one of the SC08 committee members. SC08 Committee volunteers will be individuals with picture badges or a badge that has committee on it.
If there is a major emergency affecting the overall conference, we [Security/Response Team/ACC/Committee] will provide a communication path to let all attendees, exhibitors and staffs be made aware of problems, threats (weather in particular), conference status and mitigations. You can also call
The Mentor Program Chair: Susan T. Brown, 808-375-6821, or the Broader Engagement Program Chair, Tony Baylis, 217-202-2621, firstname.lastname@example.org
- What's the first step?
Email your protégé and set up that first meeting! And have fun!