What is the weekly time commitment for mentors?
Are meetings in person or Zoom?
We prefer you to meet with students in person. However, if you are unable to, we require one meeting a month in person and the rest can be over Zoom or similar tool.
How long will I be committed to being a mentor?
One semester. You can Re-up for two.
What’s in it for me?
Purpose and social impact. You get to join a network of other community and business leaders while cultivating the next executives of tomorrow. But most importantly, you get to dramatically change the trajectory of students’ lives for the better. You get to pay it forward and reach back to help others down the difficult path you’re already on.
How much freedom do I have with my guidance?
A good mentor often has a breadth of experience across many fields. Treat your mentee teams as if they’re a junior team at your company. Ask questions first, and let the students come to the answer themselves. Guide them in whatever way you feel will yield the best outcome for their growth.
You want to push them to be self-reliant and become their own teacher. Role model and teach them how to think for themselves. Don’t give them the answer. Pick them up and motivate them when they are stuck.
What kind of mentor training is provided?
You’re joining this program as a founding mentor, which means our support materials are still being created. This means that while we’ll be here to support you for any questions or collaborations, we’re hoping to get your input to help us create a training packet that can be shared with future mentors for the program.
Who will I be paired up with? Is this permanent? Can I switch if it doesn’t feel like things are working out with one team?
You will be paired with a team of 3-4 students, and remain as a coach for this team throughout the duration of the semester.
We prefer you don’t switch teams, as working through conflicts is a critical part of the learning process. In extreme cases, we do allow mentors to switch teams if all parties have agreed it’s best.
You are free to talk to other teams if questions come up but are assigned to one team.
Can I do this if I don’t have mentor experience?
Yes. Your experience as an entrepreneur or business leader bringing a product to market is the most valuable experience to offer our students. If you have patience, empathy, and commitment combined with business experience, you can be a successful mentor.
What will I need to bring to each session?
Your primary goal with these teams is to lead them and guide them through some tough assignments. You should not need to bring anything besides yourself to each weekly session.
How much preparation time (outside of weekly meetups) will be required?
Ideally none. In rare cases, you may want to prepare a set of questions you can ask your team, but mostly you’ll just need to arrive ready to commit for the hour time-frame once per week.
The students should be able to guide you and tell you where they are going with the product and you should be there to teach them how to think and stimulate new ideas.
What if my team wants to work on a product that’s outside my realm of expertise?
While it helps to be able to act as a subject matter expert (SME) for your team, the more valuable guidance you provide will come from your knowledge of business processes and entrepreneurial challenges. In addition to our network of mentors, we also have assigned SMEs for a variety of topics that will be available on an as-needed basis for all our teams.
What is the process for me to collaborate with other mentors/coaches?
In addition to a monthly mentors meetup, we also provide you with contact information for each of your peers throughout the semester. Anytime you have a question in which you want more insight, you can reach out.
Am I a good fit for the program?
We have defined a set of criteria for what we think makes a good mentor. The most important experiences we think will make you a great mentor are listed below:
- Product pitching
- Taking a product to market
- 5+ years of entrepreneurial experience
- It is preferred you have training in cultural sensitivity
Will I need to attend a kick-off meeting and other meetings outside of team meetings?
We will have a kick-off meeting and a monthly meeting for coaches to connect with the instructor. The kick-off meeting is required. The monthly meetings are optional. We encourage you to attend all of them. It is a great chance to make friends, connect with the mentor team and to co-create the path forward. And, have fun while doing so!
Are there any other tasks?
We will need your weekly input by responding to a short survey to tell us how the team is doing. If anyone on the team is falling behind or struggling, we can partner to work out how best to support them.