Mentor SASA Frequently Asked Questions
Mentoring is a proven and powerful driver for career and personal development. Mentorship refers to the developmental relationship between a more experienced person and a less experienced partner.
Purpose of mentoring: It allows a senior scientist and other professionals to share his/her experience, scientific knowledge, and networks with the mentee. It provides the nurturing support that will allow the mentee to grow both within her field and at her place of work, encouraging his/her to build his/her career and increase her leadership potential in a socially responsible manner.
Frequently Asked Questions on Mentor SASA
How does mentoring work?
Participation as a mentor is voluntary. Mentees provide a profile and the coordinator tries to find a mentor based on the mentee interests. The coordinator is constantly looking out for potential mentors who will be registered. Mentees are also encouraged to recommend potential mentors.
What personality types/skills are you looking for in mentors?
Some of the attributes of a good mentor: a good reputation and recognition in their field of expertise in-depth knowledge of a mentee’s area of work and/or interest interpersonal coaching and leadership skills a commitment to mentoring others empathy, the ability to connect/listen.
How are mentees matched with mentors?
Based on the information provided by mentees and potential mentors, the coordinating team will try and pair a mentee to a mentor. Both mentees and mentors will be asked to comment on the match, and if one of the two is not entirely happy, the Coordinator will suggest a different match. It is important that both partners in this relationship are comfortable with each other.
How will the mentoring process start?
Once the pairs have been matched, the mentor and mentee will meet the coordinator / there will be a group session with others to launch. This will provide an opportunity to ask more questions and provide clarifications.
How will the mentoring process end?
Once the one year is lapsed mentors and mentees will attended a final review workshop to give feedback, report achievements and bring the program to a close. Mentees will receive a certificate of participation. Mentors a certificate of appreciation. Mentees can join a journal club of their choice.
How long are mentors expected to serve?
Mentees are mentored for one year.
Does the gender of the mentor matter?
Both men and women can serve as mentors. It is up to the mentee to indicate their preferences.
What are some of the benefits of being a mentor?
Mentors benefit through:
- An expanded network
- Exposure to new ideas and methods from mentees
- A deepened understanding of issues affecting the mentee
- The opportunity to develop and practice a more personal leadership style
- Enhanced skills in mentoring, listening, and role modeling
- Additional recognition and respect by colleagues and those in leadership
- The personal satisfaction of directly contributing to the development of Africa’s talent pool
How often do mentor and mentee need to meet for the relationship to work?
It is recommended that they meet a minimum of once a month for a period of one to two hours. Meetings may be held more often as required.
Do problems occur?
Typical problems include scheduling conflicts, unclear expectations, unclear goals, and overstepping professional boundaries. Defining expectations and modes of conflict resolution and setting schedules together at the beginning is crucial to avoiding problems later. Keeping journals up to date also helps to keep a mentoring relationship productive and rewarding for both sides.
Where should mentoring meetings be held?
International practice reveals interesting lessons on this issue. Meetings should be held in a neutral place, such as a park, café, or meeting room. Due to potential distractions and/or interruptions, it is important to avoid meeting in the office of the mentor, except in unavoidable circumstances.
What if we don’t get along?
It can happen that two people may not “click”. For this reason it is essential that each mentoring pair come to an agreement at the beginning about how they will deal with “chemistry” problems so that there will be no hard feelings if it doesn’t work out.
Does mentoring work?
Yes! When managed properly it can be very effective in helping scientists develop their careers. It can also be satisfying for the mentor.
Can my mentor be a person without a science background?
Yes. Your mentor should be someone who can support your career development in holistic terms.
Do I pay for the mentorship as a mentee?
The mentorship will be co-financed by Eider Africa and the mentees participating in the program. The mentees will pay a subsided fee of Ksh 8000 for the one year mentorship program. This will mainly cover workshop costs (inception and end).
"We believe in co- developing mentorship processes that are well analyzed, competence focused, mentee centered and are continually adapted to our fluid innovation context. We understand that we cannot do this alone, we invite other practitioners and interested persons to work with us to co-create transformative environments that enable emerging scholars to thrive."