Frequently Asked Questions

Mentor

Who are the mentees?

They are current students or graduates of Cal State LA who seek assistance with their professional development and career planning.

How do mentors help students’ professional development?

Mentors can provide valuable advice on selecting a career and the best educational options, developing professional and personal goals, and information about employers and networking opportunities. They provide feedback on professional communication skills such as résumé writing, professional communication best practices, workplace etiquette guidance and tips.

What help can NOT be expected from a mentor?

Mentors should not be expected to hire their mentees, or find them jobs, or make employment recommendations about students they don’t know well, or about skills they have not observed.  Mentors are not provided to act as social friends, or for personal counseling, which can be coordinated through the university’s Student Health Center.

How much time does the mentoring relationship require?

The amount of time or contact in a mentoring relationship is to be negotiated between each mentor and mentee according to their availability and will be documented in the Mentoring Agreement form.  The Mentoring Agreement shall include a goal or goals to be achieved, specific activities to use toward achieving those goals, and specific deadlines.

How do mentors get paired with mentees?

Potential mentors and mentees both complete online applications, which give the student’s major or the mentor’s profession.  Students search for mentors from the Mentor Network profiles located within CareerLink by using keywords such as an industry name/s or a major/s.  The student then contacts a selected mentor to request being matched.  If a mentor agrees to the request the mentor will contact the student to arrange an interview (in person, by phone, or online), and negotiate a Mentoring Agreement.  They will send a copy to the Cal State LA Career Mentoring Program staff.

What if I can’t or choose not to accept a student’s request?

Whether a mentor can or cannot accept the request, they should notify the student.  If no reply is received within 10 days, the student may search and contact another mentor.

Will I receive an Orientation or training?

Orientation sessions for new or continuing mentors will be conducted early in fall and spring semesters.  These sessions will review policies and procedures, as well as a workshop experience in which participants can practice some mentoring skills and activities.  Cal State LA Career Mentoring program staff will also provide more limited orientation assistance in-person, by phone, or online to participants who cannot attend sessions.

Are there Standards of Conduct for mentors and mentees?

The program is not responsible for the content of communications and interactions between mentors and mentees but reserves the right to terminate the participation and profile of anyone that violates the guidelines stated in the Mentor Manual, Mentee Handbook or Cal State LA policies, such as FERPA, Sexual Harassment and Non-Discrimination. The University policies, codes of conduct, and supporting resources can be located online at: www.calstatela.edu/studenthealthcenter/safe/cal-state-la-and-csu-policies-procedures

How is a mentoring relationship successfully concluded?

Upon achieving the agreed-on goals, or when either party can no longer participate in the mentoring relationship, they will jointly (or individually, if necessary) determine what was achieved, and propose any career development steps the mentee should plan to take, including entering into a new mentoring relationship.

If I have a problem dealing with a mentee, what do I do?

Whenever there is a problem with how the mentoring relationship functions, review the Manual for guidance, or contact the Alumni Association at (323) 343-4978 or the Career Development Center at (323) 343-3237.

How will the program use the personal information I provide?

The program will maintain the security and confidentiality of all personal information collected. Personal information will be used to verify the identity of participants, permit mentees to search mentor profiles by their career, industry, and major, and learn which method of communication has been authorized by a mentor.

Mentee

Who are the mentors?

They are experienced professionals (at least three years’ experience recommended).  Most are alumni volunteering their time to the university to support student success and there are also professionals in the mentoring network that did not attend Cal State LA and are considered “friends of the university”.

How do mentors help students’ professional development?

Mentors can provide valuable advice on selecting a career, educational options, developing professional and personal goals, and information about employers and networking opportunities. They also provide feedback on professional communication skills such as best practices for writing résumés, multimedia communication, self-representation, and on workplace etiquette.

What help can NOT be expected from a mentor?

Mentors should not be expected to hire their mentees, or find them jobs, or make employment recommendations about students they don’t know well, or about skills they have not observed.  Mentors are not provided to act as social friends, or for personal counseling, which can be coordinated through the university’s Student Health Center.

How does the program select its mentors?

Potential mentors submit applications specifying their educational and professional attainments.  If the applicant is approved, the program then posts their professional profile on the CareerLink Mentor Network.

Please note: The program cannot guarantee that its volunteer mentors will keep their profiles up-to-date.  Approved mentors receive an orientation, preparation materials, event invites and programming reminders.

How much time does the mentoring relationship require?

The amount of time or contact in a mentoring relationship is to be negotiated between each mentor and mentee according to their availability, and will be documented in a Mentoring Agreement form.  The Mentoring Agreement shall include a goal or goals to be achieved, goal deadlines, and specific activities to use toward achieving those goals.

How do I choose a mentor?

Potential mentors complete an online application, which give the mentor’s profession.  Students search for mentors from the Mentor Network profiles located within CareerLink by using keywords for industry name/s or a major/s. Mentees then contact a selected mentor to request being matched.

If a mentor agrees to the mentorship request the mentor will notify the student to arrange an interview (in person, by phone, or online) and to negotiate a Mentoring Agreement. The mentor and mentee will send a copy to the Cal State LA Career Mentoring Program staff.

What if my request is not accepted?

If a mentor cannot accept the request, they should notify the student.  If no reply is received within 10 days, the student may search and reach out to another mentor.

Are there Standards of Conduct for mentors and mentees?

The program is not responsible for the content of communications and interactions between mentors and mentees but reserve the right to terminate the participation and profile of anyone that violates the guidelines stated in the handbook or Cal State LA policies, such as FERPA, Sexual Harassment and Non-Discrimination. The University policies, codes of conduct, and supporting resources can be located online at: www.calstatela.edu/studenthealthcenter/safe/cal-state-la-and-csu-policies-procedures

How is a mentorship successfully concluded?

Upon achieving the agreed-on goals, or when either party can no longer participate in the mentoring relationship, they will jointly (or individually, if necessary) determine what was achieved, and propose any career development steps the mentee should plan to take, including entering into a new mentoring relationship.

If I have a problem dealing with a mentor, what do I do?

Whenever there is a problem with how the mentoring relationship functions, review the Manual for guidance, or contact the the Alumni Association at (323) 343-4978 or the Career Development Center at (323) 343-3237.