Frequently Asked Questions

What is the mentoring program?

The mentoring program was developed to pair graduate students with experienced human resource professionals, with the purpose of providing advice and guidance to students who are actively developing their human resource skills.  Mentoring allows students to connect with experts in the field to aid in the transition from the academic environment to the professional arena.  While the nature of each mentoring relationship will differ, both students and mentors will benefit from the experience.

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What is the role of a mentor?

A mentor is often a more senior individual with an extensive knowledge base in human resources who volunteers to coach, guide, and counsel students on a variety of topics. A mentor provides support, encourages development, and challenges mentees to stretch their limits.  A mentor also shares experiences and wisdom to help mentees determine their future career paths.  While a mentor may be a valuable resource for networking opportunities and career development, a mentor is NOT responsible for providing students with internships or serving as a job placement service.

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What is the role of a mentee?

A mentee is a graduate student enrolled in the Human Resource Development program with limited professional experience in the field of human resources (typically 0-2 years). The most important characteristic of a mentee is that he or she is willing to commit the time and energy to grow and learn from a mentor.  A mentee is devoted to developing skills and enhancing professional networks.  A mentee should be positive and excited about the mentoring program and put forth the effort required to receive maximum results, ensuring the program is a success.

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How much time is needed for mentoring?

The amount of time invested in the mentoring relationship depends jointly on the expectations set by both the mentor and the mentee and the minimum requirements of the mentoring program.  Although it is expected that all participants understand the business and academic commitments of volunteers, we ask that only those who are interested in dedicating the time and effort required to build a solid and effective relationship participate in this program.  We recommend mentors and mentees be in contact at least once a month during their time in the mentoring program, however this can come in the form of face to face meetings, phone calls, or e-mail. If mentors and mentees are interested in meeting more frequently, we certainly encourage this behavior. Mentees will also need to make time for completing the required write-up of each monthly activity. Finally, we expect that mentors and mentees will try their best (location permitting) to attend the Kick-Off Breakfast and the Closing Breakfast.

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What is the process of pairing mentors with mentees?

Interested mentors and students will be contacted through our annual call for participants and will be asked  to complete and return a mentor/mentee profile sheet.  Anyone interested in learning more can contact us at Participants are then matched on the basis of their responses to questions focusing on areas of HR interest/expertise, qualities desired in a mentor/mentee, and other background information.  Mentors and mentees will be notified of their pairing via e-mail, at which time they will receive a copy of the completed mentor/student profile and contact information. When possible, we will try to consider location of the mentor/mentee when matching pairs.

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Who is responsible for initiating contact?

While the mentoring relationship is considered to be a partnership where both parties contribute equally, the primary responsibility for initiating first contact falls with the student mentees. The mentees should demonstrate their interest and commitment to the mentoring program by being proactive at this stage of the process. Initial contact should come in the form of a phone call to the mentor where the student and mentor arrange a time to meet and become familiar with each other’s background. It is important to establish and agree upon the goals and expectations of the mentoring relationship in this initial meeting or discussion.

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What are suggested mentoring activities?

Mentoring activities may include (but are not limited to): career path discussions, job shadowing, meetings over coffee or lunch, attending Villanova SHRM sponsored events together, networking, development discussions, and volunteering for community service or human resource-related projects.  The goal of these activities is to encourage mentors and mentees to discuss current issues or trends in the field, enhance their professional networks, and exchange valuable ideas. We will provide a list of suggested activities, so that mentoring pairs have a list of possibly beneficial activities as a starting point.

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How is the success of the mentoring program tracked?

Participants in the mentoring program may be asked to complete periodic assessments of their mentoring relationship. Graduate assistants in the Human Resource Development program will monitor the success of the mentoring program based on feedback received from mentors and students. Continual improvements and modifications will be made based on suggestions and comments of participants and faculty members.

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How long will my mentoring relationship last?

Similar to the amount of time needed for mentoring, the length of the mentoring relationship is also dependent upon the expectations of each individual mentor/mentee pair.  We recommend mentors and mentees stay in contact with each other for the duration of the student’s time in the Human Resource Development program.  However, it is encouraged that mentees continue communications with their mentors beyond graduation and throughout their professional career.

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Contact Information

Campus Programs
St. Mary's Hall, Suite 119

800 Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085
(p) 610-519-4582
(f) 610-519-5826

Online Program
M.S. in HRD
Call 1-866-220-0017 or visit