Q: What is the Connect Mentor Match program?
A: It’s Connect’s free online tool that helps create mentoring relationships. We know that making a connection is personal, so you’re in charge of the process. You can tell us what you’re looking for or what kind of expertise you can offer, and we’ll recommend people who match that.
Q: How are people matched?
A: We use the information you give us to determine which people will be the best fit. This can be based on your interests or needs, the topics you want coaching on or have expertise in, the time you can invest, and where you are in your career. We’ll provide you with a list of potential matches so you can learn more about them on their profiles.
Q: How long will the mentoring relationship last?
A: We recommend that you meet regularly for six months, but the program is flexible and communication is key. At your first meeting, discuss whether you want to meet for more or less than six months and decide on a frequency for meeting that best supports your goals. Some people meet every week, every two weeks, or every month. It’s really up to you.
Q: When does the program start?
A: These matches happen on a rolling basis, so there’s no universal start and end date. Enroll as a mentee or apply as a mentor whenever you’re ready, and we’ll get you started. If you need to take a break at any point, you can do that, too.
Q: Where will we meet?
A: This is something you’ll decide together. Some people meet virtually by video, some talk by phone, and others meet in person. Discuss what will work best for you, or try out different ways and see what you prefer.
Q: Is this individual or group mentoring?
A: The Connect Mentor Match program is for one-on-one mentoring.
Q: Can I have more than one mentor or mentee?
A: We don’t limit the number of mentoring relationships you can have, but we do suggest you carefully consider the amount of time and energy you can commit to each relationship.
Q: How do I find a mentor?
A: Visit the enrollment page and fill out the form to tell us about yourself and what you’re looking for. Choose what topics you’d like to cover, where you are in your career, and how often you want to meet. Save your profile and then choose Search For A Mentor, which will give you our recommended matches.
Review the profiles of your potential mentors, and if you think someone will be a good match, click Send A Mentor Request and follow the prompts to send your message.
You can add information and make edits to your status at any time through your profile.
Q: Who are the Connect mentors?
A: They are leaders in their communities and professions who are already doing good work in the world. They help their communities through a variety of activities and share a commitment to personal and professional development. All Connect mentors have also completed a certification course through Rotary’s Learning Center.
Q: What should I do if I don’t hear from the mentor I requested?
A: If you haven’t heard anything in a week or two, message the Connect community manager (Quinn) and they’ll follow up with the mentor you chose. You can also search for a new mentor.
Q: What if my mentor and I aren’t, well, connecting?
A: It’s OK — sometimes people don’t click. If you feel like you’re not connecting with your mentor, have an honest and kind conversation with them. This might create a better relationship. But if it doesn’t, thank them for their time and search for a new mentor.
Q: How do I become a Connect mentor?
A: Start by filling out our short application. If you’re accepted, we’ll send you more information, including a link to an online training course through Rotary’s Learning Center.
Q: What are Connect mentors expected to do?
A: As a mentor, you need to:
- Be approachable and available to the person you’re matched with
- Provide a safe environment that encourages honest conversations
- Maintain a professional relationship
We ask that you respond to mentoring requests promptly, even if you need to decline. But we do expect anyone who completed the training to develop at least one mentoring relationship. And once you’ve begun the relationship, we expect you to communicate with the other person as you both agreed to.
Q: How much time will being a mentor take?
A: Mentoring doesn’t always take large amounts of time. Even brief phone calls or email exchanges can make a big difference. But every relationship is different, so discuss your expectations about time and communication during the first meeting and agree on a schedule that works for both of you.
Q: Who are the Connectors looking for mentors?
A: They’re people who are engaged in their communities and the world and interested in taking action. They’re looking for support and guidance on topics like leadership, networking, negotiating, starting a business or volunteer project, or changing careers.
Q: How do I find someone to mentor?
A: After you’ve completed the training course, go into your profile and choose topics that you can share expertise about. Then choose Search and you’ll get a list of recommended matches. Review their profiles, and if you find someone you want to work with, click Send a Mentee Request and follow the prompts to send an introduction message.
Q: How will I know if someone chooses me as their mentor?
A: You’ll get a request in your Connect inbox and at the email address associated with your account. You can choose to accept or reject the request.
Q: Is it OK to reject a request?
A: If you decide after your initial conversation that you’re not a good mentoring match, communicate honestly and kindly with the other person about why that is. Then go to your profile page and choose My Connections and then Mentoring Relationships to decline the specific request, or mark it as Completed.
Q: What if I’m going to be on vacation or temporarily unavailable?
A: If you’re mentoring someone and won’t be available for a specific period of time, communicate directly with them. If you’re not currently mentoring anyone, you can note that you’re temporarily unavailable. Go to your profile page and choose My Profile, and then My Mentor Profile. Under the MENTOR STATUS heading, click Edit Mentor Status, and mark yourself as Temporarily Not Participating. This will remove your profile from the mentor directory until you tell us you’re available again.
Q: How does the mentoring relationship end?
A: When you and the person you’re mentoring have met for the duration you decided on or agree that their goals have been met, you’re ready to complete the relationship. Go to your profile page and choose My Connections and then Mentoring Relationships to mark the relationship as completed.