IBS Mentoring Program FAQs - Mentee

IBS Mentoring Program FAQs - For Mentees

What is the IBS Mentoring Program?

The IBS Mentoring Program is a unique opportunity to connect people who are not only in different stages of their careers but also across the world. Our program is designed with the overall goal of connection. We aim to pair an experienced professional with someone who is new to their career or thinking of branching out. In addition, you will have access to a variety of resources designed to help you in your career path.  These include links to useful online articles and other resources and recorded interviews with our members talking about their own career paths.

Is there a fee associated with participating in the Mentoring Program?

The IBS Mentoring Program is a benefit of membership and is available only to members. There is no extra charge to use this resource.

How are Mentors and Mentees matched?

Members must first enroll as a Mentor, Mentee, or both. During the enrollment process, members will select preferences for various demographics to establish their personal criteria.

A registered Mentee will visit the “Find a Mentor” page and fill in their search criteria to search for possible Mentors. The Mentee will click the names of the potential Mentors to view their profiles. Once the Mentee has decided on a Mentor, they will click on the Mentor option to request that person as their Mentor. An e-mail will be sent to the Mentor alerting them that they have been requested to be a Mentor. The Mentor will be able to accept or decline the request. At this stage, it is now up to the paired mentor/mentee to initiate and build the relationship.

A registered Mentor will visit the “Find a Mentee” page and fill in their search criteria to search for possible Mentees. The Mentor will click the names of the potential Mentees to view their profiles. Once the Mentor has decided on a Mentee, they will click on the Mentee option to request that person as their Mentee. An e-mail will be sent to the Mentee alerting them that they have been requested to be a Mentee. The Mentee will be able to accept or decline the request. At this stage, it is now up to the paired mentor/mentee to initiate and build the relationship.

How will I communicate with my mentor/mentee, and how often will these communications occur? 

After a match has been confirmed by the system, the mentor and mentee can start communicating using their mutually preferred mode of communication.  The first steps will involve communicating via the email system that is built into the IBS website.  Some people may continue to use this, while others may prefer to share their usual work or personal email address.

How long does the mentorship relationship last?

When you fill out your profile and sign up for the program, you will answer some questions regarding your preferred mode of communication (email, phone, in person at conferences, etc). We suspect most mentor/mentee pairs will use a combination of different communication modes. There is no set schedule for conversations with mentors and mentees. Those who are paired are free to set their own schedules. However, it is suggested that the first conversation take place no more than seven days following the pairing.

What happens after a match is confirmed?

Because mentoring is about human relationships, it can be difficult to quantify or measure with hard data. The IBS’s goal for its mentorship program is that the mentor will serve as a sounding board and advise the mentee on how to develop the skills and knowledge needed to enhance their professional and personal growth and provide a better understanding of the profession.

What results can I expect from the mentorship?

At the onset of the mentorship relationship, the mentor and mentee will discuss the goals and timeline for the relationship. A reasonable commitment by both parties should be in the 6-to-12-month range. However, the mentor and mentee may partner for a longer or shorter period, dependent upon whether the party’s objectives have been achieved and/or when a party’s situation has changed to warrant a new match.

What happens if my mentor/mentee and I are not compatible in our mentor relationship?

At this time we ask you to direct smaller issues and questions to the Community page of which you are now a member. For larger or sensitive issues please send your questions to the IBO (ibs@biometricsociety.org). Once received, your email will be escalated to our Oversight Committee members. IBS has developed an Oversight Committee for the purpose of IBS Mentor Program oversight. If you are experiencing issues with your mentor match, please contact them immediately.

What is required of me in order to be assigned a mentor?

  1. Be an International Biometric Society member
  2. Complete your online IBS Profile and complete your IBS Mentoring Program profile. Make sure your contact information is up to date, add a recent professional profile picture, expand on your bio and import your education and job history information from LinkedIn. Having a complete and accurate profile is crucial to the success of selection and matching.
  3. Read and agree to our Code of Conduct

Is there anyone with whom I might discuss questions?

Open communication is the key to a successful mentor/mentee relationship. Throughout the mentorship, you should be communicating with your mentor/mentee about whether or not you are fulfilling the goals set out at the onset of the relationship.

How will I know if a Mentee has selected me as their Mentor?

Go to the "Mentor Enrollment" page, click the “Mentor Status” link then click on the check-box next to “Temporarily Not Participating.” Doing this will indicate that you are not accepting any Mentee requests at the moment, and your mentoring profile will not be included in a Mentee’s search for a Mentor.  It is your responsibility to communicate your availability to your existing Mentees.

How can I make the most of my mentoring relationship?

We understand that there are a variety of dynamics that make some relationships work better than others. Both the Mentor and the Mentee have to be comfortable and feel they can establish a rapport with each other in order for the mentorship to be successful.  Should you feel a mentorship pairing is not working, please discuss this with your mentor/mentee and politely end the pairing online using the ‘End Mentorship Pairing’ feature.

Mentee Specific FAQs

How do I become a Mentee?

f you are a member, click here to enroll as a Mentee. You will be instructed to choose your preferences for various demographics and also to complete your member profile.

Who determines whether or not I am ready for a mentor, and who matches me with the appropriate mentor?

Our staff and database are hard at work to be sure your membership is all set. You may streamline this process by joining through your local region and then emailing your region administrator and the IBO office (ibs@biometricsociety.org) in one email to confirm membership. Once your membership is confirmed, you will need to create your mentor or mentee profile to move forward.

Who are the Mentors?

Mentors are other members who have volunteered their time to support other members' careers.

How soon can I be paired with a mentor? 

The IBS is providing this as a new program and we are currently workshopping how to best navigate this process. You may request an available mentor at any time! Please do know that they may be actively working with someone else at that time. You may be waiting to be paired with your mentor for a while, but please remember there are some general resources available to you once you have signed up.

Can I have more than one Mentor?

While there is no limit to the number of mentoring relationships you can establish, we recommend that you be judicious in selecting only Mentors who are most suited to your mentoring needs. Please keep in mind that Mentors have limited time to offer and may have other Mentoring relationships.

What is my role as the mentee? 

As a mentee, you are responsible for being an active participant in the mentoring relationship, which includes ensuring timely and responsive communication with your mentor.  You are expected to come to the relationship with clear ideas of what you hope to achieve and should follow through on advice, introductions, and connections provided to you by your mentor so that you are doing your part with the expertise being provided to you.

How do I find a Mentor?

Once you have enrolled as a Mentee, go the the "Find a Mentor" page and select the criteria you want to use for your Mentor search. Click on the Mentors' names to view their profiles. Once you have found a good match, click on the Mentor badge (seen below the Mentor's profile image) to send the Mentor an email request.

Can I have more than one mentor, in order to gain insight into different areas of expertise? 

You may have one mentor at a time, while a mentor may have several mentees, this is dependent on the terms and structure they set in place at the time of creating their profile.

 What should I do if I don’t hear from the Mentor I requested?

If you don’t hear from the Mentor within one or two weeks, feel free to contact them using the contact information found on their profile page.

Are there limits to what I can ask my mentor about (their career, place of work, or life)?

We hope that every mentor/mentee relationship will quickly evolve to have an effective two-way dialogue relevant to the mentee’s professional development. However, all communications must be respectful and must adhere to our Code of Conduct. Further, the Mentee should understand and expect that the Mentor can choose to not answer questions that would require them to disclose proprietary or personal information. In turn, the Mentee can choose not to answer questions related to the same topics.  Boundaries regarding these topics should be discussed at the onset of the relationship. The bottom line is that questions should be asked in a context of mutual trust and respect.

What if the Mentor isn’t the right “fit” for my needs?

Where can I meet with my Mentor?

It is up to you and your Mentor to decide how, when, and where you want to pursue your mentoring relationship. It is likely that most of your communication will occur by phone or electronically. The annual meeting offers a great opportunity to meet in person.

How long does the mentoring relationship last?

We recommend that you and your Mentor agree on a schedule that works best for both of you. The most important thing is to discuss your mutual expectations about time and communication at the start of your relationship.

Sometimes, regardless of the information provided, Mentors and Mentees don’t always "fit."  If this happens, we suggest that you discuss your decision honestly and kindly with your Mentor; thank them for their time then start a new Mentor search.

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Alison Kelly

"One of the most rewarding elements of my career has been in the latter years when I have grown and mentored a team of early career biometricians working in applied statistics in agriculture.  The combination of experience with youthful capability and enthusiasm makes for a connection where all team members learn from each other and grow in so many different ways.  One of my favourite quotes is that leaders don’t create followers, but they enable other leaders, and I hope that I have been able to offer this in some way throughout my career.  I look forward to the opportunity to be able to give back to biometrics through the IBS program, by sharing experiences and being there to listen to and offer support for others on their journey." - Alison Kelly