Interested in becoming a mentor or mentee? This should help answer questions you might have about the program.
Q: What exactly is a mentorship?
A: Mentorships can take many forms depending on the context, goals, and participants. But in general, mentorships are partnerships between experienced professionals and lesser-experienced professionals within the same organization or professional field. The mentor provides guidance, shares knowledge, and serves as a non-supervisory leadership figure for the mentee. The mentee uses the partnership to enhance professional skills and navigate career-related issues, while the mentor hones their communication skills and develops a future leader. Partnerships are supportive and confidential.
Q: Why is this mentorship program needed?
A: There is a network of great organizations and talented professionals across Pennsylvania committed to conservation, but currently few (if any) programs that use this wealth of knowledge and experience to develop new leaders in the conservation movement. This mentorship program is designed to fill some of those gaps.
Q: How much time will I have to commit?
A: We suggest that pairs have 1-2 discussions per month; however, they can talk more or less frequently, depending on the schedule they determine works best for their needs. Discussions can happen in-person, over the phone, or via video chat. Some mentorships might last a few months; others could continue for a year or more.
Q: What if I don’t live near my mentor/mentee?
A: Since the program will have participants from across the Pennsylvania conservation network, it is possible that you will be paired with someone from another region. Communication through phone, video chat, and email will suffice in these circumstance, though it is recommended that pairs meet at least once in-person during the mentorship.
Q: Who is in charge of the program?
A: The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association (PALTA) created the program. Nate Lotze, the PALTA Communications Specialist, serves as the program coordinator. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-230-8560 ex.1003.
Q: Who can be a mentor/mentee?
A: The only requirement to be a mentor is at least five years of experience as a conservation professional. This experience can be in any capacity, whether in Pennsylvania or elsewhere. While previous mentoring experience is certainly a plus, it is by no means required. The program welcomes anyone who would like to share their knowledge and offer guidance.
The only requirement to be a mentee is a willingness to learn and grow as a conservation professional. There is no age limit. Those who qualify as mentors are more than welcome to also participate as mentees.
Q: Can I be both a mentor and mentee?
A: Yes! We encourage anyone interested in serving in both capacities to do so. However, please make sure that you can commit to the necessary time commitments.
Q: What are the goals of the program?
A: PALTA launched the program to provide more professional development opportunities for conservation professionals in Pennsylvania. The goal is to empower the next generation of conservation leaders, while fostering greater communication and knowledge-sharing within the conservation community.
Q: How are mentors and mentees matched?
A: PALTA will match mentors with mentees based on profile questionnaires that include information about goals, skills, geographic location, personality, and other factors. Ideally, mentees will be able to choose their mentor from a list of multiple candidates (depending on how many participants there are).
Q: What happens if problems arise during the mentorship?
A: Hopefully, the mentorship will be free of conflict. The profile questionnaires are designed to inform the matching so that pairs are compatible. However, if there are issues, contact the Program Coordinator for guidance. In the case that pairs are unable to resolve a problem, they can end the partnership and seek new partners.
Q: Will all the professional and personal information I share with my partner be kept confidential?
A: Yes. A confidentiality clause is included in the Mentorship Agreement that all participants will sign at the beginning of the program.
Q: Do mentorship programs work?
A: Mentorship programs are popular in workplaces, universities, and communities across the country. Surveys have shown that participants report greater job satisfaction and commitment to their organization than their peers who do not participate. A majority of Fortune 500 companies, including Google, Intel, GE, and Time Warner Cable, use mentorship programs to facilitate learning and leadership development.
There is a network of great organizations and talented professionals across Pennsylvania committed to conservation, but currently few (if any) programs that use this wealth of knowledge and experience to develop new leaders in the conservation movement. This mentorship program is designed to fill some of those gaps.
Q: Will being a mentee give me an inside track to future job opportunities?
A: Don’t count on it. The purpose of mentorships should not be misconstrued. A mentorship offers the chance to learn, enhance professional skills, and develop career goals. It is not a tryout for future employment.
Q: Does it cost anything?
A: Nope. The mentorship program is completely free to join.
Q: How do I join the program?
A: Complete the Profile Questionnaire found on the Mentorship Program page at Conserveland.org and follow the submission instructions. We’ll be in touch to connect you with a partner and provide guidance for how to begin the partnership.
Q: Where can I find more information?
A: The Mentorship Program page on Conserveland.org contains all relevant information and documents, and will be a home for resources and guidance throughout the program. Feel free to contact Program Coordinator Nate Lotze at email@example.com or 717-230-8560 ex.1003.