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Aspire: Career Mentoring by Support Driven

What is Aspire?

Aspire is a career mentoring program sponsored by Support Driven.

Aspire was created in early 2017 by Lindsay Konsko (@lindsayk) because professionals in the Support Driven community seek opportunities for career growth and development. Establishing a meaningful relationship with a mentor is one way to meet this need, as mentors can offer career guidance, assistance, advice and perspective to new support professionals. Additionally, serving as a mentor is a growth opportunity, too, because it involves using teaching and coaching skills that the mentor may or may not be utilizing in his or her day-to-day role.

Can I apply to become a mentor or mentee at any time?

Not exactly. We put out a call for mentor and mentee applications twice a year, once towards the beginning of the year and once towards the mid-point during the year. After giving community members some time to apply, mentor/mentee matches are made and we run a four-month program cycle. You cannot apply for the program if a cycle is already in flight. Keep an eye on this page and the #chit-chat and #chit-chat-highlights channels in the Support Driven Slack group for announcements about when the next Aspire cycle is preparing to launch. We'll put out several calls for applications!

I've applied to become a mentor/mentee. Will I definitely be matched?

No. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that everyone who applies to join the Aspire program will be matched with a mentor/mentee in a given cycle (although we do our best!). This is largely a supply-and-demand issue, which is why we encourage folks who are not matched to apply again in six months.

Are there any criteria I have to meet to serve as a mentor in the Aspire program?

We will give preference to mentors who have at least 5 years of experience in support, but this is flexible. The only other requirement is that mentors are part of the Support Driven community.

Are there any criteria I have to meet to serve as a mentee in Aspire program?

The only requirement of mentees is that they are a part of the Support Driven community.

I'm thinking about applying to become a mentor/mentee but I've never done anything like this before! How do I know I will be a good mentor/mentee?

The important thing to keep in mind is that your success or failure as a mentor/mentee largely depends on your level of engagement and commitment. An open mind, a curious spirit, and a commitment to learning and professional growth are the most important factors for success. In other words, if you’re invested in being a good mentor/mentee, you probably will be.

But also, you’re not alone in this. If you're selected to join the program, you’ll receive an initial program orientation from Aspire's current leader, Craig Stoss (@Craig Stoss), which covers how to be an effective mentor/mentee. Additionally, Craig will be providing resources and coaching via email each month that you can use if you feel you need it - this information can help guide the conversations you’re having with your mentor/mentee. You don’t have to use these resources if you don’t want to, but if you’re feeling stuck, they can help.

Finally, you can reach out to Craig at any time if you need additional, one-on-one help or guidance. He’s here to help you be a great mentor/mentee, and is excited to support you in any way that he can.

Ok, you've convinced me to join Aspire. Are you currently accepting applications?

Yes! We are currently accepting applications for the H118 cycle of Aspire. You can apply here. You must apply by January 31, 2018 to be considered.

I have more questions and want to chat with someone live. Who can I reach out to?

Craig Stoss (@Craig Stoss). He's happy to chat any time!