The iSchool Professional Mentor Program
Three Skype Sessions and One Half-day Job Shadow
The School of Information Sciences at the University of Urbana-Champaign invites professionals with three years' experience or more to participate in our Professional Mentor Program. This semester long program connects alumni, employers, and friends with current students through three half-hour Skype interviews and, if geographically convenient, a half-day job shadow experience.
Making the Match
Potential mentors should fill out this brief intake form describing their current role and education. Michele Plante, employer relations coordinator will use this information to match mentors with students interested in their field and make introductions.
Students Take Initiative
It is the student’s responsibility to reach out to mentors, to propose the meeting schedule, to initiate each Skype call, and to have questions prepared for each appointment.
Learn more about informational interviews.
Be sure you have time to commit to the program for all Skype sessions and the job shadow before applying to the program.
Be available at appointment dates and times and contact the student ASAP if they must reschedule a meeting.
- Use Skype, not email or phone calls to connect with students.
Keep the iSchool informed of any changes to your email or position.
Review any materials sent in advance before the Skype sessions.
Contact the program coordinator, Michele Plante mplante [at] illinois.edu, immediately if you have any problems connecting with your student or questions regarding the program.
Complete the follow-up survey to help us assess the experience and identify areas for improvement.
To Participate in the Program
Mentors interested in participating in the program should fill out this brief intake form.
Students interested in participating should attend Professional Mentor Program Orientation Sessions held at the beginning of each semester.
External mentoring programs
Many national organizations coordinate formal mentoring programs to help students or new professionals navigate the field.
- ALA New Members Round Table (NMRT) Mentoring Program: Connects new librarians to experienced librarians in two different areas: conference mentoring and career mentoring.
- ACRL IS (Instruction Section) Mentoring Program: Librarians with teaching experience are matched with librarians new to instruction.
- YALSA Virtual Mentoring Program: LIS students or new librarians meet virtually with seasoned librarians to accomplish specific goals and projects.