Camp Manito-wish Alumni Mentorship

The value of networking and developing relationships is a continual process throughout your life, not just your career. The Manito-wish Alumni Mentorship Program is just one aspect of the value of a Manito-wish experience. The program enables alumni to share their professional and personal experience and expertise with current seasonal staff. The connections made in the program help prepare our seasonal staff for a successful future, navigate uncertainty, and grow their network.

  1. Goal: Develop a diverse group of alumni willing to help cultivate our Manito-wish Seasonal Staff in Academics, Career, and Life.
  2. Mentorship is a one-year commitment or hopefully longer as the relationship develops.
  3. Camp will hold a kick-off zoom with all of the mentors & mentees in December with a follow-up zoom the following May for a check-in.
  4. Frequency of interactions will vary between mentors & mentees. Whether it be monthly, quarterly, or as needed we recommend a clear understanding of expectations between the mentor/mentee.
  5. Mentor/Mentee will be asked to complete a short survey at the completion of the year.

You might make a good Alumni Mentor if:

  • You want to make a real difference in a Camp Manito-wish seasonal staff member’s life.
  • You are in a position to open networking and recruiting doors for the next generation.
  • You are looking for a way to strengthen your ties to camp.
  • You are willing to gain a fresh perspective and new experiences as a coach, tutor, advisor, and supporter.

Being a Good Mentor

  • Your first interaction with your mentee is critical! They need to trust your guidance and advice so building a relationship is important. Be prepared to set a friendly and professional tone.
  • Not every mentee will know exactly what they want to ask. Be prepared to tell a little about yourself, your field, and your place of business. Once you let the mentee know this information, they should be better able to formulate questions.
  • Mentees may not always know the professional norms of your field. They may be too informal or formal. Let them know what you want to be called and model the language you want them to use.
  • Let mentees know what you are willing to offer from the start. If you only want to respond to a single question, that’s fine. Just make sure they know your expectations. Likewise, if you are available to answer additional questions or connect them with other professionals in your network, let the mentee know about these opportunities.
  • Remember that you can be a mentee, too. While a new graduate or current student might contact you with questions, you should feel comfortable reaching out with questions for alumni in your field, living in a community that interests you, or holding a position that you aspire to attain.

Being a Good Mentee

  • Once you are assigned a mentor, do a little research. Read their profiles. In many cases, a quick web search can tell you more about them and the places where they work.
  • Take note to the types of questions alumni say they are willing to discuss on their profile.
  • Formulate a specific question or category of questions. Tell them what you are interested in learning. Do you want to know how they used their major in a particular field? Are you asking about opportunities in their company?
  • Greet potential mentors in a professional manner. “Dear Ms. Jane Smith” sounds better than “Hi Emma.” From there, follow the mentor’s lead. Once they switch to less formal language, you can too.
  • After you receive the information you seek, remember to thank them for their help.
  • Follow-ups by email, phone call, or zoom.  Let the mentor know what you have done based on their advice. Ask an additional question that came to you after the first conversation. Most importantly, when you succeed at the next step in your career, let them know and thank them for their support. You are now part of their professional network.