Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters. Mentors have helped shape the lives of each new generation of leaders for as long as there have been new generations of leaders. They have helped pass on their knowledge and allowed a new generation to build on their successes and failures.
ACEL's annual mentorship program connects existing leaders to emerging leaders in Alachua County. As an initiative of ACEL's Professional Development Committee, the program was designed by a team that has worked on mentorship programs across the United States, combining best practices and structures from hundreds of mentorship programs.
During the early years of your career, it can be daunting to consider the dizzying number of directions you could go and the decisions you will have to make. You may wonder where to focus your professional development or what skills you will need in the future. What are you best at? How can you balance your personal life with your professional life? The simple act of sitting with someone who has tread that course is invaluable for young professionals as they begin that journey.
Many of the best mentorship programs use flexible, customizable structures to guide mentees' and mentors' time together. Our team has created a lean but focused program with an "a la carte" curriculum for you and your mentor or mentee to decide what works best for you.
The process is simple. Mentors and mentees meet for a mixer to allow everyone to mingle and get to know one another. Afterward, they will be paired with their mentor through a mentor-selection process. Once matched, each mentor-mentee pair will meet once a month on their own for six months, capped off with a final event.
The program is limited to 15 pairs. Applications are currently closed but will open again later in 2017.