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Introduction  |  An Informative Relationship  |  A Guidance Relationship
Suggested Questions To Ask Your New Mentor(s)  |  10 Communication Tips
Individual Career Development Plan

Introduction  

The MIS Mentoring Program began in Spring, 1994 by Michael Aufdembrink (MS in MIS, 1991). It's goal is to provide a value-added service to the IS undergraduates at UM-St. Louis by extending their professional network to include IS practitioners who also studied at UM-St. Louis. Each IS undergraduate who so requests is assigned an alum-mentor who matches their technical/professional interests as closely as possible. To view a summary of Mike's vision for the program, please read Opportunity's Knocking .... Thanks for Opening the Door!

The Program schedules meetings for the proteges and mentors to examine new technologies or other topics of interest. More important, the MIS Mentoring Program facilitates informal communication between the student and alumni. Alumni from over 25 St. Louis Corporations participate in the program, so students are able to obtain a wide perspective about the future of Information Technology. Although there are some formal mentor-protege group meetings, most of the contact is made informally. Some students seek advice about classes and curriculum from their mentors. Others seek advice about resumes and getting a job. Still other students shadow their mentor to experience the "real world". The relationship and the extent of the relationship is under the control of the student and mentor.

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Students Who Require an Informative Relationship with a Mentor  

Students in this category should have one or more of the following attributes:

First time student in the MIS or CS program
Students with newfound interests in Information Technology
Students considering a change to an MIS Major
Students in early stages of MIS coursework
Students interested in IT as a field with no specific career goal(s)

Proteges will be paired with mentors after an inventory of each participant is taken. Skills, experience, professional interests and personal interests will be the core items surveyed. Pairings will be made based on matches made in the survey.

Proteges who fall into this category will be paired with mentors with less "real world" experience, who can give more of a general overview of working in IT and the steps necessary for students to prepare for their careers.

Mentors who fall into this category should be able to encourage students who are unsure, and dissuade students who are misinformed before costly mistakes are made.

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Students Who Require a Guidance Relationship with a Mentor  

Students in this category should have one or more of the following attributes:

Students nearing graduation (BS Jr.- MS)
Students who have completed most general coursework
Students interested in specific positions in IT
Students with experience in IT
Students who are ready to begin their careers and need pointers on being an IT professional

Mentors and Proteges will be paired based on their responses to the initial survey given to all participants in the MIS Mentoring Program.

Proteges who fall into this category will be paired with mentors whose relevant work experience and interest will align with the proteges goals and interests.

Mentors who fall into this category will have had years of experience in IT and will be able to give job specific advice on one or more positions so the protege can make informed decisions when entering the work force.

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Suggested Questions To Ask Your New Mentor(s)  

Why did you volunteer to be a mentor?
What can you offer a protege?
How did you start yur first job?
How did you find (change to) your real interest?
What did your educational/career path look like?
Why did you choose that path?
What hobbies do you have? How do you spend your free time?
What advice would you give to a student starting out?
What challenges do new graduates face in the career world?
How do you keep learning at work?
What networking strategies do you use?
What career/family pattern did you follow?
What kinds of people energize you?
What are the factors for an IT professional to succeed in the business world?
What are the factors for an IT professional to avoid in the business world?
What career transitions have you experienced?

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10 Communication Tips for Mentors and Proteges  

Choose an appropriate time and place.
Build rapport through small talk.
Mentor: Initiate the exchange by asking questions.
Protege: Have a specific objective prepared.
Mentor: Listen using your non-verbals.
Protege: Use "BIF" to clarify your purpose.
Mentor: Create access to resources and tools.
Share information and experiences.
Collaborate on decision making; Mentor: offer choices.
Mentor: Encourage and confirm.

- Gerry Hynes -  
12.02.1994     

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Individual Career Development Plan  

Proteges can use the Individual Career Plan to help initiate the mentoring process. Hopefully, each protege will gain valuable information towards a career path that may be right for them.

Individual Career Development Plan

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