Connect with community-based professionals for a virtual discussion to learn about their career story and interests, and to ask your career questions.
Career Mentoring Program
The HW Works Career Mentoring Program matches students, alumni and Partner Employment Program clients with mentors who are community-based professionals with relevant experience and interests. Through mentoring relationships, students and alumni develop and enhance the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and connections they need to transition into the world of work.
The program allows current students, alumni in college, college and recent college graduates, and Spousal/Partner Employment Program clients to:
- get experience that compliments and gives context to academic pursuits,
- practice industry-specific, transferable, and self-management skills to improve chances of landing a job,
- increase self-awareness and understanding of how to contribute to the work world,
- expand career options by learning job search strategies, and
- exchange knowledge, insights, and experience with a mentor.
Mentee applications for the Winter 2024 term will open in September.
Current Harvard-Westlake students, alumni in college, and college and recent graduates are eligible to apply for mentorship. Clients in the Spousal/Partner Employment Program are also eligible to apply for mentorship.
Attributes of Good Mentees
A good mentee:
- Has reached a point in their career exploration, through activities such as career advising and job shadowing, that has set them up to explore deeper career questions.
- Knows the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and connections they want to learn or develop.
- Is a self-directed learner and takes initiative.
- Solicits and accepts constructive feedback.
- Wants to explore their interests, values, strengths, and career desires.
- Can describe their ideal mentor with specific parameters.
Benefits of Being a Mentee
At the end of the program, mentees will have:
- Gained information, advice, and guidance from someone with professional experience.
- Received nonjudgmental feedback on and practice in developing workplace skills.
- Discovered new contacts and community connections.
- Realistic, first-hand information about career paths, jobs, industries, and work settings.
- Insight and clarity about academic goals and future plans.
- Self-confidence and experience in professional settings.
- The ability to recognize unexpected opportunities.
Expectations of a Mentee
After being matched with a mentor, mentees are expected to:
- Own the learning process; practice self-awareness through reflection to understand personal vision (i.e. interests, values, strengths, career desires, etc.).
- Admit errors and mistakes, recognize procrastination, and take responsibility for actions.
- Initiate consistent and timely communication with the mentor.
- Solicit feedback from the mentor regularly.
- Give feedback to the mentor and demonstrate appreciation for their suggestion.
- Set and describe goals and discuss them with their mentor.
- Evaluate progress by setting performance criteria and tracking achievements.
- Be open-minded and show interest in new perspectives.
- Be an active listener (i.e. in meetings, on the phone, in email responses).
- Use tact in communicating differences of opinion.
Career mentors are trusted guides that act as an informal coach, role model, and connector, offering encouragement and advice. Mentors do not apply to the Career Mentoring Program and are, instead, identified and approached after the unique mentoring needs of each mentee are understood.
Attributes of Good Mentors
A good mentor:
- Is recognized as a mentor by their peers.
- Has the desire to help less experienced people.
- Sees solutions and opportunities that help mentees make sense of their goals and challenges.
- Can stimulate a mentee's thinking and reflection.
- Actively listens with an open mind and without judgment.
- Is empathetic to the experiences of a mentee.
- Sees being a mentor as a way to personally grow and learn.
Benefits of Being a Mentor
At the end of the program, mentors will have:
- Gained satisfaction in building up the self-worth of a new professional.
- Diversified professional networks by exploring new connections on behalf of their mentee.
- Practiced leadership and interpersonal skills through coaching, communication, and active listening.
- Helped a new professional leverage unplanned events in their life and career.
- Contributed to the long-term growth of their industry.
- Gained a fresh perspective on work-related practices.
- Experienced career rejuvenation.
Expectations of a Mentor
Mentors are expected to:
- Draw on personal experience, successes, failures, and insights to assist their mentee.
- Improve skills as a mentor.
- Be available for the time and frequency agreed upon in the Mentoring Agreement.
- Be open to giving and receiving feedback with their mentee.
- Be interested in learning from someone with a different background and experiences.
The Career Mentoring Program is offered twice a year:
- Fall Semester Program length: 4 months, September to December
- Applications open in March
- Winter Semester Program length: 4 months, January to April
- Applications open in September
Program format: Virtual
Time commitment: minimum 20 hours over 4 months
Participants accepted into the Career Mentoring Program are expected to attend an intake meeting, orientation session, launch event, workshop, and a program graduation. Mentors and mentees will also schedule bi-monthly meetings.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org