As the Mentorship Program enters into its sixth year, Chair Kayla Petersen and Vice-Chair, Lakelyn Hogan, are excited to give you the scoop on what is in store for the 2018-2019 League year!
The Mentorship Program was created to provide an opportunity for League members to connect with each other on a more personal level. Mentors and mentees are matched based on their mentorship application, where they indicate what they hope to gain from taking part in the Mentorship Program. For some, they join purely to make new friends. For others, they have a goal of networking or learning more about the Junior League of Omaha.
Mentorship matches have traditionally met in October but this year, the program is kicking off earlier in June 2018. Below, Kayla and Lakelyn share the details on the changes and what you can expect for the next League year.
The Mentorship Program hosted their 2017-2018 kick-off event at The Makery with a succulent bar activity.
Q: When will the Mentorship Program start and why did it change?
Kayla: The outgoing Chair, Sammi Kaiser, and I made the decision to move up the start of the Mentorship Program for several reasons. We have typically kicked things off in October after the start of the League year. However, we felt that this did not allow mentorship matches enough time to connect and develop a relationship due to the holidays and the business of people’s League placements.
We decided that a start in June would offer matches more time to form friendships and more opportunities to connect throughout the year. Also, summer months are typically a slower time for many people in the League. Matches will hopefully be able to take advantage of the summertime to foster their new mentorship relationships.
Q: What are some of the top reasons people join the Mentorship Program?
Kayla: In the past when we have surveyed participants on what they hope to get out of their mentorship experience, overwhelmingly the response is always to make new friends and meet more people in the League. Most people who join are simply looking to create more touch points and opportunities to interact with League members. Some of the other top responses from our surveys include looking for someone who can answer League questions and provide League guidance. Occasionally we also get requests for someone with a similar career who can provide mentorship on how to advance within a particular field.
Lakelyn and her mentee Allison Kousaie enjoying happy hour at Timber in Countryside Village.
Q: Do you have to know a lot about Junior League to be a mentor?
Lakelyn: You certainly do not have to be an expert on the Junior League to be a mentor. Even after being in the Junior League for over five years, I still don’t know all of the answers. I try my best to share my experiences in the various placements I have had during my time in the League. If my mentee ever had questions that I couldn’t answer, I would help them find the answer and we both learned together. Even being a second or third year active, simply sharing your experience with your mentee can be a powerful way to provide mentorship.
Q: Who is eligible to be a mentee?
Kayla: As long as you are an active member of the Junior League of Omaha, you can be a mentee. Typically, first and second-year actives are mentees. However, second-year actives can still apply for a mentee role if they feel strongly about it. New members already have a lot on their plate and have a whole committee that mentors them through their New Member year. Once those New Members become actives, it is a great time to join the Mentorship Program so you can continue to build friendships within the League.
Mentor Lauren Anderson and her two mentees Michelle Pernicek and Lauren Weber at the Olympic curling trials.
Q: What kinds of activities do matches do together?
Lakelyn: The sky’s the limit when it comes to mentor and mentee activities. One year, I had two mentees and we met every other month for lunch at Flagship Commons. This year, I have had happy hour with my mentee and we even had a puppy play date so I could meet her new pup! I have heard of other matches going to sporting events together, taking on the Escape Room challenge, meeting for coffee, crafting together and so much more. As a match, you get to decide what interests you both and have fun during your time together.
The spring Mentorship Program event was hosted at Whisk and Measure, where matches took part in a cookie decorating tutorial.
Q: Are there group Mentorship Program activities?
Kayla: Yes! The first group activity is a kick-off event at in June where we will reveal the mentor/mentee matches. Our goal is to plan the event around an activity where participants can learn something new while having an opportunity to socialize with their match and other participants in the Mentorship Program.
We highly encourage everyone to attend the kick-off so every mentee has an opportunity to meet face-to-face with their mentor. We also plan a wrap-up event at the end of the year to conclude the Mentorship Program. This year we are hoping to provide a few additional opportunities for mentorship participants to get together. This will give people a chance, not only connect with their match, but also allow for more connections to be formed within the Mentorship Program.
Q: How can I sign up to take part in the Mentorship Program?
Kayla: We want everyone who is interested to fill out the Mentorship Program Application. It will only take you 5 minutes or less. Applications for the 2018-2019 league year are due May 28th. 2018. Then, Lakelyn and I will meet to pair our mentor and mentees together. We will email mentorship participants with more information on the kick-off event which will be taking place in June of 2018.
Kayla and Lakelyn hope you will consider joining the Mentorship Program and they look forward to making many mentorship matches in June!
If you have questions, please email email@example.com.