Professional Mentoring Program
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How will I be paired with a mentee/mentor?
The mentor and student will each be asked to complete a questionnaire with professional and personal information. The pairings will be made based on academic area and field of study, as well as commonalities and similar goals for the mentoring relationship.
How long will the mentoring relationship last?
The expectation is that the formal mentoring relationship will be for no less than the academic year. However, our hope is that the relationship will continue until the student graduates and the pair will continue to keep in contact thereafter. At the conclusion of the academic year, the pair will be asked to evaluate their relationship and set new goals and priorities for the upcoming year if they decide to continue.
How will we meet and how often?
Each mentor and mentee will determine the type and frequency of meetings. For mentors who live in or near Manhattan, it is encouraged that meetings may take place in person. However, phone or Zoom/Skype meetings also work great. Pairs should try to meet at least once a month, but may choose to meet more often. An agreement will be filled out during the first meeting so that the days and times to meet may be determined.
What types of discussions should I have with my mentor/mentee?
The purpose of the mentoring relationship is for a more experienced professional to offer advice to a less experienced student. There are a number of helpful topics for discussion related to academics, professional work environments and preparing for entering the job market, to name a few. The mentoring guides for mentees (pdf) and mentors (pdf) have lists of discussion points that can be used to help navigate conversations.
What is WildcatLink?
WildcatLink is a cloud-based “Hub”, or software created by PeopleGrove, that allows K-Staters to connect, network and take part in general networking and specific mentoring programs across campus. Student users have private profiles and are able to network with professionals who have public or private profiles in order to gain more information regarding their career, professional skills, and other professional development topics. WildcatLink also serves as the hub for where Professional Mentoring programs across campus live online.
Who can join WildcatLink?
Current students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Kansas State University can join the WildcatLink Hub. Those who opt to “Join the Community” or “Join a Program” on the WildcatLink site will be asked a series of questions to build their profile. Profiles can be public or private and edited at any time by the individual.
Does it take a lot of time to build a profile and when will I be able to join?
The profile-building process can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on the amount of detail someone may want to include. To assist in the process, those new to the community can actually build their profiles by signing in with their LinkedIn account, which eliminates having to fill out many of the initial questions about current and past work and educational history.
Can I join WildcatLink for the networking aspect, but not choose to be part of a mentoring program?
Yes, there are two main parts to WildcatLink: networking and mentoring. By initially joining WildcatLink, networking is available to those with an approved profile. Visitors can “Join the Community” where their profile will be reviewed. Once approved to be part of WildcatLink, networking among others in the site (found in the Wildcat Network tab) is open to all in the system. Student profiles cannot be seen by other students, alumni, friends, faculty/staff for privacy purposes. However, professional profiles (faculty, staff, alumni and friends), can be seen by students and all other professionals within the site if they choose to make their profile “public.”
How can alumni & friends of the university utilize WildcatLink?
WildcatLink provides a direct connection to K-State faculty, staff, alumni, friends and students. Alumni and Friends will be able to connect with one another, faculty at K-State, and students they have been paired with to mentor. As well, if an alumni or friend in the system has a public profile, students are able to view their profile and contact them based on the preferences the alumni/friend set for connecting with others.
How can faculty/staff utilize WildcatLink?
Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to visit the WildcatLink page and join as a general user. They do not have to join any specific mentoring program, unless they desire to serve as a mentor. The networking within the system provides a direct link to public alumni, friend and faculty profiles without having to join a specific mentoring program. Alumni and friends can indicate their experience, expertise and how they would like to be involved with K-State (speak to a class, be part of a panel, mentor, attend a departmental conference, etc.) This allows for added networking and connectivity among faculty, staff, alumni and friends.
How can students utilize WildcatLink?
Students will be able to see public profiles of mentors, alumni, friends, faculty and staff in the Wildcat Network portion of the site. They can directly work with their mentors through the individual college programs just as they have been in the past. An additional asset to this software is connecting with other professionals, faculty or staff that are NOT their assigned mentor, but are willing to share expertise in one-time conversation settings with a student in the network.