AIChE Mentorship Program: Call for Mentees

Seeking mentorship is a pillar of success for any professional at any stage of his/her career. Harvard Business Review Network Blogger, Jodi Glickman, wrote that "a mentor can prove invaluable when it comes to providing insight into your organization, inside information about the politics of the place, or just some over-the-shoulder advice about who to work with and who to stay away from." Nonetheless, Glickman does not leave behind the often ignored reciprocal facet of mentorship: "Mentorship, however, is a two-way street -- and you've got to figure out how to repay the favor and make the relationship work for both of you." While listening to executive Tod Nielsen, Co-President of Application Platform for VMware, a three-billion-dollar IT firm, the importance of mentorship took center stage. In his talk he emphasized mentoring as one of the five pillars that greatly contributed to his success. The most profound message was: " it is helpful to pick a mentor slightly different from you." Mentorship is a type of networking. Networking is the deliberate and systematic process of building and maintaining relationships based on mutual benefit. Research suggests that mentorship is a critical networking tool that can be an effective way to achieve career growth as well as contribute to your own psychological well-being. For the second year, The Young Professional Advisory Board (YPAB) and The Fellows Committee will be collaborating and piloting a mentor program. Last year's success has given the program some traction, and this year it will be integrating software used in many engineering classrooms: The Comprehensive Assessment for Team-Member Effectiveness (CATME) and Team-Maker software. The CATME group includes two AIChE members: Dr. Lisa G. Bullard and Professor Emeritus Dr. Richard M. Felder and is directed by Prof. Matthew Ohland from Purdue University. This multi-disciplinary application, described as "gathering peer evaluation data and self-evaluations to assess how effectively each team member contributes to the team and giving feedback to team members" was created with an NSF grant. Team-Maker software will allow us to design a platform that meets AIChE YP/Fellows' mentor program specific needs. YPAB member Alan Aguirre, graduate student at the University of Colorado - Boulder, used CATME as a student and felt as if it would be a great match for our mentoring program. With his leadership we have begun successfully integrating Team Maker and CATME into our mentor/mentee pairing and post evaluation process, respectively. Kate Gawel, incoming YPAB chair, is also leading the planning of this year's program by serving as the liaison between the YP mentor leadership team and YPAB. The only criterion to become a mentee is a graduation date no later than December 2011. If you are interested in being a mentee, elevating your professional skill set, and building long-lasting professional relationships, please feel free to email me at