Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTIONS

CG LEARNS

* Is there a sample schedule for the workshop? 

* I can't make the workshop or a portion of the workshop I signed up for, what can I do? 

CG LINKS MENTORS

* What is mentoring? 

* What are mentors?

* How long is a mentor/mentee relationship?

* Who is a mentor? 

* What does a mentor do? 

* What are the benefits to mentors? 

* What are the expectations of mentors? 

* What makes an effective mentor? 

CG LINKS MENTEES

* Who is a mentee? 

* What does a mentee do? 

* What are the benefits of being a mentee? 

* What are the expectations of mentees? 

CG LIFTS HOSTS

* What is job shadowing? 

* As a host, what is expected of me? 

* What do students do during shadowing days?

* Do you have some tips for a host? 

* How do I get started? 

CG LIFTS STUDENTS

* How should I prepare for my job shadowing day? 

* Do you have any tips for the day I go job shadowing? 

* Do you have some suggestions what I should ask my host?

* What do students do during shadowing days?

* What do I do after I job shadow? 

General FAQs

* I'm a student and I completed, CG LEARNS, CG LINKS & CG LINKS. What's next?

* What if I can't schedule an appointment within two weeks of completing an application? 

Answers

 CG LEARNS

 * Is there a sample schedule for the workshop? 

* I can't make the workshop or a portion of the workshop I signed up for, what can I do? 

If you know you won't be able to join us before the start of the first day of the workshop, send us an email at [email protected] or call/text us at 626.653.3413 and let us know so we can work with you and your schedule. 

If the workshop has started, give us a call or text us at 626.653.3413 and let us know so we can work with your schedule. 

CG LINKS MENTORS

* What is mentoring? 

Mentoring is more than talking. Mentoring is the consistent and developmental evolution of wisdom, technical knowledge, assistance, support, empathy, and respect to education.

Mentoring is important, not only because of the knowledge and skills students can learn from mentors, but also because mentoring provides professional socialization and personal support to facilitate success in school and beyond. Quality mentoring greatly enhances students' chances for success.  

* What are mentors?

Mentors can be: 

  • Advisors, people with career experience willing to share their knowledge
  • Supporters, people who give emotional and moral encouragement
  • Tutors, people who give specific feedback on one's performance
  • Masters, in the sense of employers to whom one is apprenticed
  • Sponsors, sources of information about and aid in obtaining opportunities
  • Models of identity, of the kind of person one should be to be an academic

(Zelditch, M. 1990. Mentor roles)

* How long is a mentor/mentee relationship?

Each mentor/mentee teem will be asked to meet at least once a week for three months. At the end of each meeting, the mentor team will be asked to complete notes as to what happened during the meeting. 

* Who is a mentor? 

Community Groundwork mentors are experienced and thoughtful leaders committed to investing their time to assist in the growth and development of others.  The mentor is willing to share their knowledge, experience, and wisdom and act as a guide and role model. The knowledge, advice, and resources a mentor shares depends on the format and goals of a specific mentoring relationship. 

A mentor supports and encourages the professional development of the mentee and provides active guidance to help them achieve their goals. The mentor may help with exploring careers, setting goals, developing contacts, and identifying resources. The mentor offers a fresh perspective and an independent point of view, while guiding a process that fosters the growth and educational development of the mentee.

Individuals typically enter mentoring relationships with assumed expectations of each other, and yet these expectations are rarely discussed. When expectations haven’t been discussed or established, many become irritated and/or disappointed with their mentoring relationships at some point. To prevent frustration in your mentoring relationship, during the first meeting, the mentee and mentor should discuss expectations that they will strive to meet in their mentoring relationship. The conversation should also include the next steps if those expectations are not being met. 

* What does a mentor do? 

As an experienced individual in the workforce, mentors will have the opportunity to guide the development of students who have completed the Community Groundwork workshop.

Acknowledging that each mentoring relationship is unique, the mentor will:

  • Help build rapport each time he or she meets with a mentee
  • Ask open-ended “how” and “what” questions with a mentee
  • Challenge and/or encourage a mentee depending on what the situation requires
  • Offer opportunities to problem solve and exchange ideas
  • Provide feedback that is honest, open and positive 
  • Take a genuine interest in helping the mentee succeed 
  • Present opportunities to the mentee may not have recognized on his/her own
  • Provide suggestions to the best of one’s knowledge that help the mentee reach their goals

More generally, though, it is important to recognize that those students engaging in mentoring can benefit in a range of more generic ways too, such as increased confidence, raised aspirations and a more proactive approach to their lives.

* What are the benefits for mentors? 

  • Providing mentorship is an opportunity to build leadership and management skills
  • Providing mentorship can offer lasting career networks
  • Mentorship can provide mentors the satisfaction of sharing their own personal wisdom with others 
  • Mentorship can provide a reciprocal learning relationship. You may learn just as much from your mentee as your mentee will learn from you!
  • Providing mentorship offers the mentor an opportunity to reflect upon their own journey through academia and professional experiences
  • Mentorship can lead to the development of lifelong friendships

* What are the expectations of mentors? 

  • A commitment to the importance of the mentoring relationship and a willingness to treat it as a priority
  • A minimum investment of 1 meeting (phone call, in-person meeting, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.) per week for three months
  • A commitment to regular communications and interactions, agreed upon in advance
  • Maintaining confidentiality and terms outlined in the mentorship agreement
  • Willingness to participate in any evaluations of the mentorship program
  • A commitment to positivity and encouragement throughout the mentorship process
  • Will contact the leadership team if the match is not appropriate or if the mentor is unable to reach the mentee

* What makes an effective mentor? 

  • Value the mentee as a person
  • Develop mutual trust and respect
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Listen both to what is being said and how it is being said
  • Help the mentee solve his or her own problem, rather than give direction
  • Focus on the mentee's development and resist the urge to produce a clone
  • Are flexible and adaptable
  • Patient, creative, and enthusiastic

CG LINKS MENTEES

* Who is a mentee?

A mentee is an individual who receives advice, assistance and feedback from a more experienced person over a set period of time, resulting in the enhancement of the mentee’s educational studies or professional experience. The mentee must have clear goals and be willing to accept guidance and advice in order for the relationship to be successful.  A mentee is open to constructive feedback and has a desire to learn and develop new skills to progress in their graduate education.

* What does a mentee do?

A mentee takes primary responsibility for coordinating the mentoring process based on one’s educational goals and aspirations  

The mentee will:

  • Initiate meetings and arrive for the first meeting with personal aims and goals for the mentoring relationship
  • Develop a mentoring plan and goals
  • Negotiate the specifics of the mentoring plan with the mentor
  • Communicating one’s goals clearly
  • Actively seek advice from the mentor
  • Honestly disclose frustrations, concerns and successes
  • Honor one’s commitments to the mentoring program
  • Actively listen and learn
  • Be open to advice and suggestions

* What are the benefits to mentees? 

  • A mentor can provide you valuable insight into the world of politics
  • A mentor can provide guidance during times of change and transition
  • Lasting relationships and professional networks
  • A mentorship relationship can help the mentee to clarify their academic, professional and personal goals
  • A mentor can be an impartial, independent voice; someone to bounce ideas off of 
  • Mentors will facilitate your thinking. They won't tell you what to do
  • You should expect a mentoring relationships based on trust, confidentiality, mutual respect and sensitivity
  • Supporting the journey into work

Depending on the mentor relationship you may secure work experience, go on employer visits, improve your academic results, find new friends and so much more.

* Expectations of Mentees

Mentoring requires clear boundaries between the mentor and mentee which you should be involved in agreeing. 

  • You will be encouraged to identify goals, challenges and set priorities.
  • You will be expected to drive the relationship take increasing responsibility for your own self-reflection and development.
  • A commitment to the importance of the mentoring relationship and a willingness to treat it as a priority
  • A minimum investment of 1 meeting (phone call, in-person meeting, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.) per week for three months. 
  • A commitment to regular communications and interactions, agreed upon in advance
  • Maintaining confidentiality and terms outlined in the mentorship agreement
  • Willingness to participate in any evaluations of the mentorship program
  • A commitment to positivity and encouragement throughout the mentorship process
  • An understanding that the mentorship relationship is not a tutoring service
  • Engagement with your mentor on an ongoing basis is crucial for the success of the program. Walking away without any regard for the longer-term relationship is to be avoided. 
  • Will contact the Community Groundwork leadership team if the match is not appropriate or if the mentee is unable to reach the mentor

CG LIFTS HOSTS

* What is job shadowing? 

Job shadowing allows the student to observe and follow someone in the field while the professional is at work. This opportunity allows the student to gain comprehensive knowledge and understand the nuances about what an employee who holds a particular job does every day. 

The participant experiences the employee’s approach, the interpersonal interaction required, the steps and actions necessary, and the components needed to effectively perform the job that the employee might never think to mention.

However, while job shadowing is a shorter time commitment than an internship, this time allows the student to observe the career's culture, explore, and ask questions. The benefits of job shadowing can’t be understated. This period of time will give students a look into a career they're thinking of pursuing. It can be a great way to decide whether or not a student wants to pursue a particular career before applying for jobs or internships. Job shadowing also helps students develop contacts in their field of interest. Students may even meet other professionals who ultimately become mentors, advising them about a career choice or change, or advancement in their professional life.

* As a host, what is expected of me? 

We ask that you host a minimum of 1 student for a few hours or more. If your student is staying with you all day, we ask you to provide lunch and use the time to debrief and have casual conversations with the students.

* What do students do during shadowing days?

  • Specific activities vary among host sites, but some common experiences you could provide include:
  • Introduce/demonstrate the skills required for success on the job
  • Share career history and/or trends in the industry
  • Show how teamwork plays an important role in the organization
  • Have employees show students their areas of expertise
  • Discuss the student’s career interests and questions
  • Review the student’s resume or LinkedIn profile
  • Plan for the students to do some or all of the following:
    • Receive a tour of the company/facility
    • Rotate through various departments
    • Arrange informational interviews for the student with your colleagues
    • Work on a special project (market research, user experience study, etc.)
    • Sit-in during a group project/meeting/conference call
    • Observe procedures (logo design, social media calendaring)

* Do you have some tips for a host? 

Be Prepared 

Have a plan -- hour by hour. 

Think Conversation, Not Presentation

Students may become shy or insecure in a new environment. As a host, try to engage your student early in the day by asking a lot of questions about them. Discuss their interests in depth, their plans for education and what careers they may be interested in pursuing. Having a conversation with the student, allows them to get comfortable with you and lets them know it’s ok to ask questions. 

Share Your Shadow with Colleagues

Introducing your student to your coworkers gives them a broader look at the organization, its people and job functions as well as alleviate some of the responsibility for hosting them. 

Give the Student Information to Take Home

Prepare an information packet for your student, including:

  • Data about your company, job and the broader field.
  • Your Business Card
  • Literature on professional organizations associated with your industry
  • A list of relevant books or sites
  • As you compile this information, don't be surprised if you find information useful to your own career. Perhaps you'll discover an industry website that will help you with a key project

Again, thank you for taking the time to host a student at your company. This experience will leave a lasting impression on our students. 

While job shadowing is a shorter time commitment than an internship, this time allows the student to observe the career's culture, explore, and ask questions. The benefits of job shadowing can’t be understated. This period of time will give students a look into a career they're thinking of pursuing. It can be a great way to decide whether or not a student wants to pursue a particular career before applying for jobs or internships. Job shadowing also helps students develop contacts in their field of interest. Students may even meet other professionals who ultimately become mentors, advising them about a career choice or change, or advancement in their professional life.

CG LIFTS STUDENTS

* How should I prepare for my job shadowing day?

Before your job shadow: 

  • Coordinate the date and time of your visit with Community Groundwork 
  • Confirm the expected dress code for your visit
  • Arrange for transportation/parking to and from the job shadow site
  • Reflect on your own career path. Your host is likely to be interested in what brought you into politics and where you hope to go
  • Research your host and the company you will be visiting (prepare at least 5 specific questions)

* Do you have any tips for the day I go job shadowing? 

  • Be on time!
  • Say hello, greet every person you meet, maintain eye contact and address them with their formal titles unless told otherwise 
  • Thank every person for their time and ask for business cards
  • Listen carefully to directions and keep everything you see/hear confidential
  • Be prepared, professional and engaged
  • Stay positive
  • Take notes. You will get a lot of information that you may want to retain. Remember to bring a notepad and pen
  • Forget your phone. Turn off your phone when you arrive. If you have to keep it on, switch your phone to silent and resist the urge to use it
  • Ask plenty of questions!  Don't be afraid to ask questions about their career path

* Do you have some suggestions what I should ask my host?

  • What types of skills do you need for this job?
  • How has your training or education helped you with this career?
  • What do you like most about the job?
  • Has the job changed or evolved over time? If so, how?
  • What presents the biggest challenges for you with this job?
  • What is the career path? What are the advancement opportunities associated with this job?
  • What are some of the most important things I need to know to succeed in this role?
  • What helped you the most when you were starting this job?
  • Can you describe your typical day at work?
  • Is there anything you can tell me that someone might not know about this job?

* What should I do after I job shadow? 

  • Send a personalized thank you email to your host and any other professionals who hosted you.
  • Connect with your host and other professionals you met on LinkedIn.
  • Complete your own page write-up and submit to Community Groundwork and complete your Job Shadow Survey. 

General FAQs

* I'm a student and I completed, CG LEARNS, CG LINKS & CG LIFTS. What's next?

Congratulations! You will be mailed a certificate of completion. Community Groundwork will continue to send you news and other opportunities to get involved and that will help you learn new skills or make new connections to help you in your career goals. 

* What if I can't schedule an appointment within two weeks of completing an application? 

Email [email protected], let us know three other days and times that you are available and we will work with your schedule to find some time that best fits your schedule.