Michigan IT Mentor Program Pilot

The Michigan IT Mentor pilot program is a new option for U-M IT staff to expand their professional networks. As part of this pilot program, U-M IT staff are matched with a mentor within the Michigan IT community for a four-month period. The Michigan IT Steering Committee will use feedback from pilot participants to determine if and how the program is set-up long-term.

The objectives of the program are to begin to build a culture of mentorship across the Michigan IT community and to provide Michigan IT staff with opportunities to form relationships that help us perform better in our jobs and grow our careers.

What is a mentor program?

A mentor program enables matching of more-senior with more-junior staff for the purposes of individual career growth and understanding. While we often think of mentor programs as a mentor sharing knowledge and experience with a mentee, mentors also learn and grow through the process of mentoring.

Who can participate

Current IT staff at U-M who are willing to put the time and energy into making their mentor/mentee relationship a success are welcome to participate in the program.

Time commitment

Mentors and mentees can expect to spend only a couple hours a month during the four-month program. Activities include:

  • 1-hour initial orientation session
  • Initial start-up activities 
    • Mentors: Write your bio & interests, read up on what it means to be a mentor.
    • Mentees: Determine your goals for what you want to get out of the program, select your mentor preferences, and read up on what it means to be a mentee. 
  • Participate in monthly, one-on-one mentoring meetings (and prepare for and follow-up from each)
    • Note: Mentees are responsible for setting up meetings with their mentor. You may meet more or less frequently based on your mentoring relationship!
  • Provide feedback to the planning team through a feedback session and/or online survey.

How the program works

  1. Mentor sign-up: U-M IT staff interested in becoming a mentor sign up online and provide their bio and “mentoring interests.” (Registration for mentors is currently closed.)
  2. Mentee sign-up: U-M IT staff interested in becoming a mentee sign up online and provide their mentoring goals & select their preferred mentors. (Registration for mentees is currently closed.)
  3. Orientation: Mentors and Mentees attend an orientation session. 
  4. Match: The Mentor program team will match mentees with mentors based on their preferences and mentoring goals. (See Matching methodology.)
  5. Meet: Once matched, mentees have the responsibility of reaching out to their mentor to set up roughly monthly mentoring meetings during the 4-month period.
  6. Feedback: After the 4-month period ends, mentors and mentees will be invited to provide feedback about the program to the planning team.
  7. Next steps: Mentors and mentees can choose whether or not to continue their mentoring relationship after the 4 month matching period ends.

Resources & tips

General information

Information for Mentees

Information for Mentors

Matching process

The mentor program team will attempt to match as many staff with a mentor as possible. The team will match mentors and mentees based on individual mentoring/professional development goals and areas of interest. We will also make every attempt to match you with someone outside of your normal work group or reporting line.

Methodology

The mentor program team uses the following methodology to match mentors and mentees:

  1. Give mentees their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd preference of mentors when possible
  2. Spread the mentees across as many mentors as possible
  3. If a mentee does not specify a preference, or if we are unable to provide a preferred match:
    1. Match mentees and available mentors based on stated areas of interest or area of the organization
    2. Ask mentees to review bios of available mentors and decide whether to choose a new mentor or pass on the program

The Mentor Program is an optional program, so we may have instances when we have more mentees than mentors, or there may not be a mentor or mentee who shares your interests. If we're not able to match you with someone this time, we'll work hard to include you in a future round!

Contacts

The Michigan IT Mentor Program is sponsored by the Office of the CIO and the Michigan IT Steering Committee. You can contact the mentor program team by emailing michigan-it-mentor@umich.edu.