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Getting Started

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


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 University of Missouri - Saint Louis by extending their professional network to include IS practitioners who also studied at University of MIssouri - Saint 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.


Students Who Require an Informative Relationship with a Mentor  

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

HFirst time student in the MIS or CS program
HStudents with newfound interests in Information Technology
HStudents considering a change to an MIS Major
HStudents in early stages of MIS coursework
HStudents 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.


Students Who Require a Guidance Relationship with a Mentor  

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

HStudents nearing graduation (BS Jr.- MS)
HStudents who have completed most general coursework
HStudents interested in specific positions in IT
HStudents with experience in IT
HStudents 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.


Suggested Questions To Ask Your New Mentor(s)  

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


10 Communication Tips for Mentors and Proteges  

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

- Gerry Hynes -  


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.

HIndividual Career Development Plan