Welcome to the IPS Mentorship Program. Our goal is to assist you in identifying areas for growth and acquiring the skills and network to achieve that growth.
• Learn about your mentor. Find out about their practice, clients, and talents before you meet. Use their firm bio or LinkedIn profile as a starting point.
• Don’t wait for your mentor to call or email you. Once you have been paired with your mentor, contact your mentor and introduce yourself. Let them know you are looking forward to the mentoring relationship. Additionally, respond promptly to any communications from your mentor, and do not be afraid to follow-up with him or her if you have not heard back within a couple of days.
• Set up your first meeting. We recommend that the first meeting be in person.
• Determine when, where and how often you will meet. Meet in person as often as possible or talk on the phone, go for coffee, lunch, etc.
• Make good use of your mentor’s time and respect their time constraints. Before you meet, prepare an agenda. Identify some specific items you would like to cover and ask if your mentor has any items to add.
• Discuss with your mentor any workload, practice, or personal concerns that could affect your professional development. Be candid with your mentor, to the extent you are comfortable, about anything he or she needs to know to assist you.
• Be receptive to feedback, suggestions and advice, and use them in a manner you feel is best for your professional development. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
• At the end of each meeting, re-cap, confirm next steps, and when the next meeting will be.
Here are a few suggestions to make the mentoring relationship as successful as possible:
• Potential topics for discussion:
– Classes the you are taking
– Your career goals
– Work/life balance
– Working at a firm/in-house/the public sector
– Resume writing
– Interviewing skills
– Opportunities for community involvement and community activities
– Network and reputation building
– Tips for practice management
• Be an effective communicator:
– Listen actively and eliminate distractions
– Be open about your goals and areas of interest
– Check for understanding and reactions to avoid misinterpretation
– Don’t be afraid to ask questions