What is Mentor Match?
Mentor Match is a program to help our members shape their goals and acquire invaluable skills through personalized guidance from a fellow member.
What are the benefits of mentoring?
Participation in mentoring is rewarding for both mentors and mentees.
Having a mentor can accelerate your career advancement, broaden your perspective, and improve your confidence. It allows you to develop a trusting one-on-one relationship through which you can voice career-related concerns and questions. It also helps you hone your communication and goal-setting skills.
Being a mentor sharpens your active listening, coaching, and feedback skills. It’s a way to give back to your profession by improving the experience of its future leaders. It’s also personally rewarding to develop relationships with new people and learn from their perspectives.
Is it free to participate?
Yes, Mentor Match is free to all INFORMS members.
How can I enroll?
To enroll in the Mentor Match program, you must be a member of INFORMS. Members can enroll on the Connect.informs.org website. Enrollment is currently closed and will open in March 2024.
Mentors and mentees enroll here.
How are mentors and mentees matched?
Enrollment as a mentor or mentee puts you into an online directory. We recommend and expect that mentees will be the drivers of the mentoring relationship. Ideally, mentees should be the ones to search the directory for available mentors and initiate the request to connect.
If a mentee is unable to find a mentor by the deadline, they will be matched by INFORMS staff.
What if I feel uncomfortable requesting a mentor?
Remember, every mentor in the program willingly signed up for the job! We understand that in some of our members’ cultures, it is not typical for younger, less experienced people to make requests of older, more experienced ones. But we want to reassure you that this is appropriate and expected within this program.
How will I know if I found a match?
The ‘Request Mentor’ button triggers an email to the mentor, letting them know that they have been requested. They are then able to accept or decline your request.
What if I don't want to work with my match?
As a mentor, if you receive a request from someone who you don’t wish to work with for any reason, please decline and reply to INFORMS staff so that we may suggest a different match to the mentee.
As a mentee, if you request a match and later decide that it’s not a good “fit”, please reach out to INFORMS staff.
Once I have a match, what happens next?
Download the Goal-Setting Worksheet and use that to help you think through what you are hoping to accomplish with your mentor’s help. Then, get in touch with your mentor to suggest an introductory meeting and communicate your goals. Most mentors and mentees meet virtually by Zoom and correspond by email. But you are welcome to plan meetings in person if you are located near each other.
The program runs for approximately five months and we expect you to "meet" for at least one hour per month.
...And what happens after that?
At the end of the five month program, we ask that you complete a feedback form.
Mentoring is like any interpersonal relationship – it can take several different paths. Some mentor and mentee pairs do develop into long-term friends or collaborators; others don’t. Either way, be sure to thank the other person for their time and attention.