On this page, you will find a list of frequently asked questions about participating as a mentee in our mentorship program.
Question: What are the eligibility requirements to be a mentee in the program?
Answer: Eligible mentee candidates are girls, women, and gender minorities aged 14-26, who reside in the United States and who have an interest in (or are curious about) national security.
Question: Is the program open to individuals outside of the United States?
Answer: We manage these situations on a case-by-case basis. For example, if you are a US citizen, but you attend school abroad, you may still be able to participate in the program. If you have a special circumstance, please email us at email@example.com.
Question: Is the mentorship program virtual or in-person?
Answer: The mentorship opportunity is created to function as a virtual program.
Question: How long is each mentorship season?
Answer: Each mentorship season is three months long.
Question: Throughout the three months, how often am I expected to engage with my mentor?
Answer: You and your mentor set the frequency with which you communicate. We think that more frequent contact enhances your experience, so we suggest not going more than two weeks without contact.
Question: How do I communicate with my mentor?
Answer: We understand that everyone has different preferences when it comes to communication. You can use whatever form of communication works best for you. Video calls, phone calls, text messages, emails, or a combination of these, can work well. If regularly scheduled video calls with occasional emails work best, great! If emails or sporadic phone calls work best, that is also great! Keep in mind that there really is no substitute for real-time, face-to-face conversation as a way to build a relationship. However, it is ok to take your time in building your comfort level in this area.
Question: What can mentees expect to get out of the mentorship program?
Answer: Mentees have varying levels of experience and a wide range of interests. Some are looking for career guidance, professional development advice, job application assistance, etc. Others are just looking to learn more about the national security field to evaluate if it is for them. Generally, mentees fall into one of three categories:
- Beginner/Just Exploring: This type of mentorship will support “beginner” mentees, those who are exploring national security as a concept and field of study for the first time.
- Intermediate/Definitely Interested in the Field: This type of mentorship will support “intermediate” mentees who are sure of their interest in national security and are seeking guidance for how to prepare for a career in the field.
- Accelerated/Career-Focused: Girl Security’s new Accelerated Cohort includes those individuals seeking career-entry support, such as resume preparation, networking and social media positioning, interviewing, and more. This category is for those who are career-focused and can benefit from direct insight from experienced professionals in their pathway.
Question: What does the application process involve? How long does it take to finish the process?
Answer: The application process involves a comprehensive intake form, in which you tell us about yourself, your interests, your preferences related to the program, and other information that helps us make a good match for you. It also involves the signing of the Girl Security Code of Conduct, a background check (for those 18+), and a five-minute video recording in which you share a bit more about yourself using question prompts that we send you. The entire process generally takes a week or two.
Question: Is there anything else involved in the application process?
Answer: At the completion of the process, you will be invited to join Slack, which is the closed platform that we use for communications. A Slack account is required in order for you to be matched and to participate in the wider Girl Security community.
Question: Do I need to reapply each season?
Answer: Yes. This is because personal information, circumstances, and interests tend to evolve. In order to make sure we are working with the most updated and accurate information, we require that mentees apply for each season in which they would like to participate in the program. Each application will entail a fresh intake form, background check (for those 18+), Code of Conduct form, and video interview.
Question: How many mentors will I be assigned each season?
Answer: Generally, one mentor is matched with one mentee each season. Sometimes, we match each mentee with two mentors (a “mentor team”). Sometimes, we match each mentor with two mentees. The arrangement for each season depends on the number of participating mentees and mentors at the time, as well as the particular interests of each mentee. All of the arrangements have value and have resulted in excellent mentor/mentee relationships.
Question: What if my mentor and I are not able to build a rapport, or if it just isn’t a good match?
Answer: We do our best to use the information provided through the application process to match mentors and mentees who we think will get along and have a lot to talk about. However, sometimes the chemistry just isn’t there. That is ok. Let us know as soon as possible in the season, and we will make any necessary adjustments.
Question: What resources are available to me as a mentee in the program?
Answer: As a mentee, you will have access to workshops and other events that we host to help you build knowledge and skills. You will also have the opportunity to connect with other mentees and build your network of people with related professional interests.
Question: What if I have never been in a mentorship program before?
Answer: No problem! This is a great opportunity to learn and practice communication, networking, and connecting skills. A great mentee comes into this with an open mind and a willingness to learn and grow. We provide a mentee orientation session at the beginning of each season to get you started on the right foot.
Question: I am worried that I won’t know how to start or keep up in a conversation with a mentor.
Answer: Don’t worry. The Girl Security Team will support you along the way, and will provide tips during the orientation session to give you ideas for how to start conversations, keep them going in a meaningful way, be an active listener, and build rapport with your mentor.
Question: Does the mentorship program have a cost?
Answer: The program is entirely free! All you need to bring are your time, attention, and respect, and an open mindset.
Question: Do I need to travel to meet my mentor?
Answer: Nope! This mentorship program is designed to operate entirely virtually.
Question: I have additional questions not covered here. How can I find out more?
Answer: We are happy to answer any additional questions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.