Mentor Match FAQs

Mentor Match FAQs


What is Mentor Match?

Mentor Match is an online directory intended to help INFORMS members find social support in developing their careers.

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?

Enrollment is online and we’re currently accepting mentors and mentees on a rolling basis.

Mentors enroll here.

Mentees enroll here.

How are mentors and mentees matched?

Enrollment as a mentor or mentee puts you into the 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.

Despite this, mentors who have been in the program for a while and have not been requested may also use the directory to find and request a mentee.

Either party is welcome to contact INFORMS staff if you are unable to find a match. We can help you.

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 reject the match.

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”, politely let them know and start a new mentor search.

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 a first 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.

We recommend you follow the six-month program outlined here. These are just suggestions to keep you on track!

...And what happens after that?

Once you feel you’ve accomplished what you were hoping to accomplish when you decided to find a mentor, then it’s okay to thank them and end your correspondence. It’s best to be clear about this, so the other person is not left wondering why communication goes unanswered.

If instead you would like to keep informally working with your mentor, it is also okay to do that!  

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.