Mentee FAQs

On this page, you will find a list of frequently asked questions about participating as a mentee in our mentorship program. 

Question:  There are a lot of mentorship programs out there. What makes the Girl Security Mentorship Program different?
Answer: What makes our program different and special is that we emphasize “coaching-inspired mentorship”. This means that instead of focusing on giving advice, we equip our mentors to ask good questions, listen actively, share authentically, and empower their mentees to chart their own paths. Yes, there is a space for advice, but it isn’t the crux of the mentorship experience. 

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

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(s)?
Answer: The time commitment involves meeting with your mentor(s) at least once every two weeks, for a total of at least six meaningful meetings together.

Question: How do I communicate with my mentor(s)?
Answer: We understand that everyone has different preferences when it comes to communication. You can use whatever form of communication works best for you. 

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:

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 and Mentee Acknowledgement Form, and a supplementary piece of work in which you share a bit more about yourself and your interests in the national security field. 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 the Slack platform, 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. 

Question: How many mentors will I be assigned each season?
Answer: Generally, one mentor is matched with one mentee each season. Sometimes, we match a mentee with two mentors (a “mentor team”). Sometimes, we match a 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(s) 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 mentee orientation materials 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 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(s)?
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