Friday, January 22, 2010

Digital Tools That Help Mentoring Communication by Amy Lam & Vicky Sullivan

We have come to rely on certain digital tools to efficiently manage our communication with our mentoring partners. Here are 4 free tools that we think everyone should be familiar with and how we personally use them:

  1. Google Calendar is a virtual day planner similar to Microsoft Outlook.

    How Amy Uses It: "I like to send meeting requests so my partner not only gets a reminder (that syncs with other applications, e.g. Outlook), but I have the peace of mind when I get a confirmation email stating that they've accepted the meeting. My friends and I also allow schedule sharing so when we make plans, we automatically know each others' availabilities."

  2. Google Reader compiles digital content from different sources all into one place.

    How Amy Uses It: "I set alerts for my mentors' names and companies so I get up-to-date news and gain further insight on their professional environment. I'm also always curious about what people choose to pay attention to or where people get their news so this tool conveniently allows me to receive (and share!) resources from other Google users."

  3. Skype provides phone service from anywhere in the world using the Internet (as a side note, they provide instant messaging, file transfer and video conferencing as well).

    How Amy Uses It:
    "I actually haven't used it yet in a mentoring situation, BUT it was potentially a great way to talk with my mentor when she was traveling outside the U.S. last year. The calling service is free, but the drawback is that both you and the other user must register in order to use it together."

  4. LinkedIn is a social network geared toward professional and career development.

    How Vicky Uses It: "It was a great resource for researching my mentor before I met him. I found out where he went to school, where he has worked and what mutual connections we had--even how he looked like so I knew who to look for in my initial mentoring meeting. You can also ask your mentor for a recommendation on LinkedIn and use it as a reference source."
Amy Lam is an online marketing manager at Direct Brands, Inc., responsible for enhancing brand experiences and generating conversions through all Bookspan's e-commerce sites.

Vicky Sullivan is the New Media Manager at Advertising Women of New York.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Staging the 1st Meeting: Tips for Mentors and Mentees by Vicky Sullivan

With only a few weeks until the Kick-Off Breakfast on February 2nd at Yahoo!, all newly matched mentors and mentees should have contacted each other and sent an RSVP to the AWNY office via email in regards to the breakfast. The idea is for mentors and mentees to have met prior to the kick-off event. This first meeting can be both exciting and nerve-racking. Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of this preliminary encounter:

  1. Be Professional: Though this is a mostly casual get-together, you are still meeting with someone in your industry so it is still a semi-professional meeting.
  2. Meet Half Way: Meeting at a place that serves food or coffee is always a great icebreaker. Starbucks is a good option and there is one on almost every street corner in the city. If lunchtime is convenient, meet for lunch. However, with the craziness and unpredictability of the New York workday, meeting before or after work might be a better option. Try meeting at a central location; somewhere in between where you both work. If you do not have time to meet set aside time to speak over the phone.
  3. Prepare: Before you even contact your mentor or mentee ask yourself what you are looking to get out of this. What would you like to achieve during your time together.
  4. Make a Connection: As far as conversation goes, have fun. Though it may be helpful to talk about job-related topics, making a personal connection is what this meeting is really about. However, make sure you think of a few conversation starters before you arrive at your first meeting. Simple questions such as:
    - What made you want to join AWNY?
    - Where did you go to school?
    - Tell me more about what you do.
  5. Set Goals: The mentor and mentee are both at different stages in their career. Each should look to and make the other aware of how they plan to use this program to further their career.

    Good luck and don’t forget to Learn Share Grow.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

AWNY's 2010 Mentoring Kick-Off Breakfast

AWNY's Mentoring Kick-Off breakfast will be held on Tuesday, February 2nd. Come learn how to make the most of your mentoring partnership, network with others in the program and meet the mentoring committee! We have changed the programming format this year so please read all the details below. See you soon!
  • What: AWNY's Mentoring Kick-Off Breakfast*
  • When: Tuesday, February 2nd
    7:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. (Breakfast served at 7:45 a.m.)
  • Location: Yahoo, Inc.
    1065 Avenue of the Americas (Entrance is on West 40th Street), 12th floor
    Times Square Conference Room
  • RSVP: by Friday, January 29th to the AWNY office at (212) 221-7969
  • Program: All sessions start promptly at 8:00 a.m.
    Intro Session for Mentees
    Q & A Session for Mentors
    The entire group will gather together for any further questions at 8:30 a.m.

*Complimentary for AWNY 2010 mentoring program participants. Attendance is limited. Due to strict security and space limitations, sorry no walk-ins.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Welcome to the 2010 AWNY Mentoring Program Community by Terry Yoffe, Mentoring Program Chair

And what a year 2010 promises to be. This year we have paired 113 mentees and 113 mentors, the most paired since the mentoring program began 13 years ago.

When we started this program no one ever dreamed that it would have evolved into what it is today. The numbers speak for themselves which is a true testament to AWNY, its members and the dedication of those people that help create the best program ever year in and year out.

Each year the mentoring committee looks back and assesses what we did well and where we can improve and then we go to work, making it happen. Two years ago we created our AWNY mentoring blog because we felt that there was a need for community within our program and what better way to bring mentees and mentors together than through a blog. We have been perfecting it each year and in the coming year we will have many wonderful stories, suggestions, resources and information to share with you.

This year we have changed our application forms, making it easier for both mentees and mentors to be more specific about who they would like to be paired with. And this year we are offering Reverse Mentoring to those that would like to share knowledge; a young professional sharing the newest and latest technology information with a more senior professional.
And even our Kick Off breakfast on Tuesday, February 2nd will have a different format than past years. This year we are going to separate the mentees and mentors and have a Q&A for each group so that mentees can get better acquainted with the program and the mentors can learn more about their roles.

Yes, 2010 is promising to be a championship year for the AWNY Mentoring Program because each of you has made it happen with your continued support of our community and each year we are reaching new heights.

On behalf of the entire Mentoring Committee and Program I want to say THANK YOU for reaching out and giving of your expertise, experience, time and energy, whether you are a mentee or mentor, to truly making a difference.

In closing, I will remind you of our tag line: LEARN, SHARE, GROW and that is what I hope for each of you this coming year.

With Appreciation and Gratitude,

Terry Yoffe & the Entire Mentoring Committee