Mentorship program for Australian sociology students

The Australian Sociology Association invites professional sociologists to join a mentorship program for sociology students at the Honours, Masters or PhD levels. This is an important initiative for non-academic sociologists to become involved in if they are able, as students seldom get exposure to their career prospects outside the traditional university avenues.  This program will not involve a big time commitment, as mentors can choose to keep in touch with their mentees at least four times during the year via email, Skype or phone if they cannot meet face to face – but the rewards will be amazing. The role is not to provide supervisory feedback on theses or to be involved in the scholarly aspect of their student’s learning, but rather to provide collegial support with respect to career planning. Those of us who have been working outside academia may relate to the difficulties in creating good networks and getting career advice – so if you think this is a worthwhile cause, please consider signing up. Applications close on Friday 30th of April, and the process is easy to join online: http://www.tasa.org.au/tasa-post-grads/

TASA MENTORING PROGRAM

In 2010, the first TASA Mentoring Program will be launched. Below you will find information regarding the aims and expectations of the program, as well as details of how you can become involved.

Program Aims:

TheTASA Mentoring Program will partner TASA student members with professional sociologists from outside their university. The main aim of the program is to provide opportunities for student members to extend their networks beyond their home department and to access a relevant career mentor other than their supervisor(s).  For mentors, the program provides an opportunity to reflect on their careers, ‘give back’ to the sociological community, and to keep up to date with educational trends and the issues facing emerging sociologists.

Program Expectations:

Mentoring Partnerships:

It is expected that mentors and mentees make contact at least four times during the year via e-mail / phone / Skype.  For some partnerships, this will be enough for both parties to benefit, whilst others may mutually decide to have more frequent contact.  Outside of these broad guidelines, both parties should be prepared to openly discuss and agree on their expectations at the beginning of the program.  Support materials and more detailed guidelines will be provided to mentors and mentees upon acceptance into the program to help them establish their mentoring partnership.

Mentors:

The mentor role is collegial and career orientated, rather than academic.  It is NOT intended as an academic supervisory role.  Mentors will be sourced from the current TASA membership and therefore may be based in academic or non-academic sectors.  Whilst there is not an onerous time commitment expected from mentors, they should have a genuine interest in partnering with an emerging sociologist for the duration of the program.

Mentees:

All mentees must be financial TASA members.  Mentees may be student members at Honours, Masters or PhD level.  They may also be recent graduates who are considering further study or evaluating their career options.  As mentoring is a partnership, mentees must be motivated to get the most out of the program and not simply expect their mentors to ‘give them all the answers’.

How will mentors and mentees be matched?

It is intended that mentors and mentees will be matched according to interests and aims for the program, as detailed on the application form.  However, mentors and mentees should be as open-minded as possible when expressing preferences, as it is not always possible to find ‘exact’ matches.  Indeed, literature on mentoring programs also shows that diversity within the mentoring partnership can also be the most rewarding part of the experience for both mentors and mentees, so keep this in mind!

When will the program run?

The program will run annually from July to June, with the inaugural year planned for 2010-2011.  This timing is intended to facilitate as many mentors and mentees as possible to be able to meet in person at the 2010 TASA conference in December, at which a special mentor program event will be scheduled into the conference program.

How do I apply?

If you would like to apply to the TASA Mentoring Program, download the relevant application form below and return it by e-mail to the TASA Postgraduate Member, Peta Freestone: postgrad@tasa.org.au

Link to Mentor Form

Link to Mentee Form

The deadline for return of all applications for the 2010/2011 program is COB, Friday 30th April, 2010.

Both mentors and mentees will be notified of the outcome of their application in June 2010.

Questions?

If you still have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the TASA Postgraduate Member, Peta Freestone: postgrad@tasa.org.au