URISA Mentoring Network
Get Involved with the URISA Mentoring Network
- Are you passionate about your field and interested in helping others identify their passions?
- Are you willing to share your skills, knowledge, and expertise?
- Do you value continued education and growth?
- Are you a good listener?
- Can you spend two to five hours a month cultivating a meaningful and rewarding relationship?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you would make a great mentor in The URISA Mentoring Network!
Think back to when you first entered the job market. What do you wish you had known? What advice do you wish had been shared with you? You have the opportunity to pass your wisdom and experience on to emerging professionals in the geospatial industry.
Last year, the URISA Vanguard Cabinet launched the URISA Mentoring Network to foster strong connections between geospatial professionals at all stages of their careers. The Vanguard Cabinet strongly believes that mentorship is one of the most powerful ways to expand your social network, trade insights with another professional in your field, and stay on top of the latest industry trends. The mentoring program aims to improve the academic and professional achievements, self-esteem, and technical capabilities of geospatial professionals within our industry. The program consists of three cohorts annually and relies on volunteers to mentor our emerging professionals.
During the application and matching process, we consider the mentor and mentee’s experience and goals to create the most successful mentor/mentee pair. After a prospective mentee is matched with a mentor, each pair is expected to meet monthly. The Mentoring Program provides resources for each mentor-mentee pair to guide their discussions. Each mentor can support their mentee by sharing their own career journey, suggesting helpful training or certifications the mentee might pursue, providing a sounding board with a different perspective, and building their mentee’s network by introducing them to other practitioners in the field.
Traditionally, mentorship is viewed as something that requires a mentor to be older or significantly more experienced than the mentee. While we view mentorship as a key factor in the growth and development of young and emerging geospatial professionals, we also believe that the most successful mentor-mentee relationships are an exchange of ideas and perspectives. We acknowledge that we can all learn from each other, regardless of age or years of experience. Our criteria for mentors are not based on age, but rather one’s willingness to offer support to other geospatial professionals. Furthermore, we encourage each mentee to proactively contribute to the relationship by communicating their own experiences and observations of the latest industry trends, software knowledge, and innovative approaches to geospatial problem solving.
The success of this program depends on the amount of work put in by each mentor-mentee pair. It is expected that mentors and mentees dedicate at least two to five hours a month to this program. Your relationship with your mentee does not have to end at the end of your term. We hope that mentors and mentees will develop a strong relationship that will last for years to come.
There is no age or experience requirement to be a mentor, so if you are ready to kick off your mentorship journey, get involved today!
"Each of us has likely had one or more mentors who have made a positive impact through their advice, willingness to listen and encouragement. I think that one of the most meaningful contributions we can make as professionals is the sharing of our knowledge and experience with others. I am really pleased that URISA's Mentoring Network provides an opportunity for us to support one another in this way."
- Kevin Mickey - URISA President
Frequently Asked Questions:
When is the next deadline to apply?
· Applications for Cohort #1 closes on February 15. The application deadline for Cohort #2 will close on May 15th.
I know other professionals that would be great mentors, but they aren’t URISA members. Can they still sign up to be a mentor?
· You do not have to be a member to participate in the URISA Mentoring Network!
What is the monthly time commitment and duration of the program?
· The minimum expected time commitment is two to five hours per month. Each cohort is six months long.
How can I get involved?