On this page, you will find a list of frequently asked questions about participating as a mentor in our mentorship program.
Question: Do I need previous mentoring experience to participate as a mentor?
Answer: Not at all! Great mentors are people with experience to share who know how to do so in a mindful, open, and helpful manner. Girl Security provides a mentor orientation session and resources to help new mentors find their own style and gain confidence in sharing what they have to offer.
Question: How long is each mentorship season?
Answer: Each mentorship season is three months long.
Question: What is the time commitment during each season?
Answer: You and your mentee(s) set the frequency with which you communicate. We ask that it is not less than once every two weeks.
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, and a brief interview in which you share a bit more about yourself. 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: Mentors do not need to reapply each season. However, mentors need to reapply each calendar year to remain active in the program. This is because personal information, circumstances, experience levels, job titles, and mentorship preferences tend to evolve. In order to make sure we are working with the most updated and accurate information – while also being mindful of mentors’ busy schedules – we require that mentors apply once per calendar year. Each application will entail a fresh intake form, background check, Code of Conduct form, and interview. Once you have completed your application process for the calendar year, you are good to go for each mentorship season (generally Winter and Summer) for that year.
Question: How many mentees 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 mentee(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 mentor in the program?
Answer: Mentors are invited to be a part of our mentor community via the Slack platform and a dedicated LinkedIn group. Being a part of this community allows mentors to expand their networks and have access to a range of professional resources, volunteer opportunities, mentoring advice, event invitations, and other information.
Question: Are mentors able to volunteer in other ways, aside from having a mentee match?
Answer: Yes! Most Girl Security mentors are so enthusiastic about our work that they offer to volunteer in other ways. Some of the ways that mentors contribute to our mission (aside from being in the formal mentorship program) are:
- Presenting at webinars or workshops
- Participating in social media campaigns
- Participating in working groups and special events
- Serving as Girl Security ambassadors
- Offering internships or fellowships
- Facilitating a strategic partnership with their company/organization
Question: Does Girl Security provide any support throughout the mentorship?
Answer: Absolutely. Girl Security will match you and your mentee(s) and turn things over to you to build the relationship. We will always be there to answer any questions you may have or to iron out any issues that may arise. We check in occasionally throughout the mentorship season, and offer opportunities for feedback and socialization among mentors.
Question: Is the mentorship program virtual or in-person?
Answer: The mentorship opportunity is created to function as a virtual program.
Question: What do the mentees expect to get out of the mentorship?
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: 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.