EDAC is transitioning its mentorship database to the Mentor Match Program on Gather. If you’re currently included in the EDAC Mentorship Database or if you are interested in becoming a mentor or mentee, register at gather.nata.org/network/findmentor. You must be logged into Gather to access the Mentor Match Program.
Mentoring is most often defined as a professional relationship in which an experienced person (the mentor) assists another (the mentee) in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance a person’s professional and personal growth within a certain field. Through numerous discussions and presentations, the NATA Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee (EDAC) created its mentoring database to facilitate mentorship in the athletic training profession. Any NATA member can sign up to be a mentor or mentee.
EDAC recommends that mentees should contact mentors first, and then the mentors should encourage the mentee to write down some goals for his/her athletic training career. Both parties can then work on those goals and maintain communication about profession, NATA and life. On the same end, the mentor should allow the mentee to develop proper thought processes and troubleshoot with some guidance.
- What are the requirements for becoming a mentor? WILLING, passionate, positive influence! You are now part of a group that can help mold the future professionals in athletic training.
- What are my expectations? To encourage and provide guidance while acting as a sounding board or voice of wisdom. Contact your mentee every one or two months, even if it's just to say hello. Mentors might encourage mentees to attend athletic training meetings and conferences, and to get involved through volunteering. Mentors might consider providing opportunities for their mentee to visit their work setting to learn more about different job settings in the field.
- How many mentees can I take on? That's a personal decision. You are welcome to take on as many mentees as you are comfortable with as long as you can provide each one the expected level of mentorship.
- How do I say "no" to someone if I have too many mentees? How do I refer them to another mentor? It's important to be honest and up front with potential mentees if you feel like you are being spread too thin. It would be helpful to recommend other mentors from the database who you believe would be willing.
- How many mentees will I be assigned? It not an official assignment from NATA or EDAC. Mentees can use the database and reach out the mentors on their own. There isn't a maximum number of mentees allowed because everyone's time and circumstances are unique.
- What happens once I am on the database? Once you join the mentor database, you are now available to the NATA members who are in search of an experienced professional for career guidance. The mentees are responsible for reaching out and contacting mentors on their own.
- What are the benefits of becoming a mentee? Finding a mentor is a great networking opportunity that allows you to gather advice and recommendations for jobs, schools, involvement with committees at all levels, and resume and job assistance.
- What are my expectations? Maintain communication with your mentors. Mentees should try to contact their mentors once every one or two months, even if it's just to say hello and catch up. The impetus for ongoing communication rests with the mentee.
- What can I do as a mentee to gain the best experience in this mentor program? Ask questions! Engage. Initiate conversations. Ask for help and find ways to get involved.
- How often can I reach out to my mentor? There are no rules or specifications for communication. The mentor and mentee should develop their own relationship that works for both parties, whether that's communication via email, phone or some other channel. That's a good conversation to have up front to set proper expectations and have a successful mentorship
- Will I be reassigned a mentor if I have to move/relocate? Although long distance mentoring relationships can still be helpful, it might be a good idea to get a new mentor in your new region for further networking opportunities. There is no rule that says you must be limited to one mentor, so whether you maintain a relationship with both mentors is up to you.
- Who can I contact if I have any questions or concerns? Connect with your EDAC District Representative for assistance.