- Where does Mentor Together work? Mentor Together works in 5 cities currently - Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. If you are not a resident of these 5 cities, we may not be able to consider you as a mentor right away. However, we encourage you to submit your application nonetheless as we can let you know if we open a chapter in your city in the future.
- What is mentoring? Mentoring is typically understood as a process through which an older experienced guide eases a younger person’s transition to adulthood through a relationship which provides support and challenge. Its origins come from the Greek play Odyssey, where a young Telemakhos is educated by Odysseus’ wise friend Mentor. In this sense it is a developmental relationship in which the young person is inducted into the world of adulthood.
- What does a mentor do? As a pair, mentor and mentee work through a curriculum designed and structured by the Mentortogether team. Mentors work on improving mentees’ language skills, developing mentees’ life skills, and helping them pursue their academic and career goals. As a non – parental adult, mentors are not perceived as authority figures, thereby creating a positive environment for youth to be themselves and grow into strong adults.
- What is the mentor selection process? This is the standard process we follow for mentor selection. Every mentor submits a first form using this public url. If the basic criteria - like being from a city where we work, expressed interest in mentoring etc are met, we invite mentors to submit a second form which captures more details of their exact mentoring skills and interest. Following this we interview a mentor one-to-one for about 30 minutes. We prefer face-to-face interviews for this. Finally, if necessary, we conduct 1-2 reference checks on a mentor by speaking to individuals who know the mentor applicant personally or professionally.
- Does mentoring require specific skills? Mentoring broadly requires one to develop a friendship that can serve as a good support system for the mentee. However, while mentoring under privileged kids, a few things need to be highlighted. A mentor should be able to manage emotions and respond with empathy. The relationship should also be democratic; there must be equal participation from the mentor and the mentee. During the course of the relationship, attempts should be made to facilitate discussions rather than leading them; this enables the mentees to open up and feel secure in the space provided to them by the mentor.
- Is Mentortogether a recognized organization? Mentortogether is a registered not-for-profit organisation (No. 372/09-10). We are also registered under Section 12AA and under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
- How are the various projects of Mentortogether funded? Mentor Together raised money from a variety of sources - Corporates, Foundations and through individual giving. Some of our donors include/have included IBM India, Mahindra, Ashoka India, Amdocs, the International Youth Foundation etc. If you’re interested in contributing, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Is there any other way to contribute to MentorTogether apart from being a mentor? Sure! We’re always looking for volunteers to help us out with the ground efforts. Additionally if you represent, or know any organization that would like to partner with us in order to conduct workshops or run a similar mentoring program elsewhere, please contact us at email@example.com
- Is there any legal document that the mentor needs to sign before he/she starts mentoring? Yes. Mentor Together has Memorandum of Understanding that specifies the scope, rules & regulations for the program. Anyone interested in becoming a mentor could ask to have a look at it during the personal interview with MT team, which is a part of the mentor selection process.
Mentor Together is the recipient of several awards - the IBM Catalyst Award in 2011, the Starbucks Shared Planet Award in 2011, the Mahindra Spark the Rise award in 2013, the Dasra Girl Power Award in 2014 and so on.
Mentor Together has also been covered in numerous local, national and international publications like India Today, CNBC, Times Now and the World Economic Forum. For the full press-coverage please check here
Program Specific FAQs - Flagship Program for High-School Students
- How long can/does the mentor-mentee relationship last? Our programs are designed to be of 12-18 month duration. We strongly encourage pairs to continue their relationships even after the formal program period.
- What is the ideal time commitment for a mentor? A mentor should be able to meet his/her mentee at least twice a month; this minimum frequency brings some stability and security to the relationship. We recommend each meeting lasts at least 2-3 hours.
- Is there any financial expense on the part of the mentor? Travelling to meet the mentee is the only expense to be borne by the mentor.
- How old are the mentees? The mentees in our programs are in the age range of 14-17 years.
- What backgrounds do the mentees come from? Mentor Together identifies youth for formal mentoring if their natural environments do not offer any opportunities to find such support figures.
- Do I receive any support from Mentortogether should I choose to be a mentor? Mentortogether provides substantial support right from the moment the mentors are selected. Mentors are inducted into the mentoring process; they are also provided with ideas for a curriculum, activities. MentorTogether also teams up with various organizations to set up workshops. Additionally, the mentors are required to maintain meeting logs and review their meetings with program managers.
The mentees can come from shelter homes, low-income schools, scholarship programs for disadvantaged students etc.
Program Specific FAQs - Work-based Mentoring Program for University Students
- How long is the program for? The mentoring will be done for 8 months. Including pre-match selection activities and end-match closure activities, it will take a total of 10 months.
- What will a mentor and a mentee do during those 8 months of mentoring? Mentor Together has developed an in house curriculum on soft skills which the mentor needs to administer during the first 6 months. During the last 2 months the mentee will do a project to showcase as many skills as he/she has picked over the last 6 months.
- What is the mentor selection process? This is the standard process we follow for mentor selection. Every mentor submits a first form using this public url. If the basic criteria - like being from a city where we work, expressed interest in mentoring etc are met, we invite mentors to submit a second form which captures more details of their exact mentoring skills and interest. Following this we interview a mentor one-to-one for about 30 minutes. We prefer face-to-face interviews for this (venue of the interview is either our office or the mentor's office). Finally, if necessary, we conduct 1-2 reference checks on a mentor by speaking to individuals who know the mentor applicant personally or professionally. We know the process can seem long - but we do it to ensure each mentor fully understands the program commitment before signing up
- Can you tell me more about the mentoring curriculum? The workplace mentoring curriculum has been designed keeping in mind the objectives of the workplace mentoring program which are:
- How frequently will the meetings happen? The program suggests that the mentor and the mentee meet once every week for atleast 2 hours each.
- What if I cannot meet my mentee at my workplace? In that case, we recommend that the mentee travels to somewhere close to your place of residence during weekends for the mentoring. In this program mentees will be given bus passes so that they can travel to the mentor’s workplace or any place close to his residence if workplace is not feasible. Mentor Together will work with you and your mentee to ensure the schedule and meeting location are aligned before matching the pair. But we ask mentors to have some flexibility in meeting place incase mentees have exams etc and cannot make it to the office sometimes.
- Who will be my mentee? For the work-based mentoring program in Bangalore, Mentor Together has partnered with another NGO called Foundation For Excellence, who have been giving scholarships to academically strong underprivileged children for over 2 decades. We would be working with the FFE scholars for this program. They are underprivileged children from all parts of Karnataka, in the age group of 18-21 who are doing their engineering across multiple colleges in Bangalore.
- Will there be a training for the mentors? Yes. Induction training is typically conducted for 6-10 hours for all selected mentors. Mentor Together may make special arrangements if your Company is participating in this program, to allocate time and space for the training in your Company premises itself. More information on this will be shared during the one-to-one mentor interview. The topics covered during the training can be broadly categorized under 4 big heads - Roles of a mentor, Background of youth we work with, Skills of a good mentor and Program rules and structures.
- How does Mentor Together monitor the program? Every mentor is required to submit detailed logs about their meetings onto our technology platform which our Program Managers go through regularly to intervene / support the mentors as and when required.
a. To guide a young person from a disadvantaged background towards understanding his/her interests, aptitudes and skills
b. To improve a young person’s self esteem, outlook towards the future, attitude towards school/education, and motivation to learn
c. To provide a young person an opportunity to build critical soft skills and hard skills needed at the workplace d. To enrich and expand a youth’s social connections and networks.
The 18 topics covered in the curriculum can be broadly categorized under 3 very broad heads:
b. Coping and Self-Management Skills
c. Decision Making & Critical Thinking Skills.