The Stanford IT Mentoring Program is a CIO-sponsored talent development program that promotes and supports mutually beneficial learning relationships between Stanford IT Community members.

These opportunities further enhance Stanford's vibrant, collaborative, and inclusive work culture and align with the overarching vision of the CIO Council that emphasizes talent development.

All members of the Stanford IT Community are invited and encouraged to participate as mentors, mentees, or both.

What is a mentor?

A mentor is someone who has experience and expertise they’re ready to share. Being a mentor is a great way to give back and guide rising talent. Teaching others is also a great way to develop your skills.

What is a mentee?

Mentees are ready to learn and open to feedback. Being a mentee is a great way to gain extra advice and guidance to develop your full potential in the workplace.

Program Benefits

Benefits of being a mentor

Contributing as a mentor delivers many personal rewards, including a chance to:

  • Develop your leadership skills. Practice the soft skills of encouragement and motivation to improve your team's engagement.
  • Find new perspectives. Expand your way of thinking through dialogue with your mentee.
  • Give back or pay it forward. Pass on the wisdom and expertise others have shared with you during your career journey. 
  • Expand your connections. Share connections to build your network.

Benefits of being a mentee

Being mentored offers valuable opportunities for development, including a chance to:

  • Grow your skill sets. Develop skills beyond the scope of your current role and master the soft skills that can help advance your career.
  • Get new insights. Get advice on problem-solving and navigating interpersonal relationships.
  • Build your confidence. Increase your understanding of our workplace culture, policies, and expectations.
  • Increase your visibility. Network and grow your connections across the university.

Eligibility and Participation

The program is open to all members of the Stanford IT Community. Both mentors and mentees must dedicate at least nine hours to the program over the course of six months.

The application period for the 2022 IT Mentoring program is now closed. We will open applications for the 2023 program in the fall.

More about mentors

  • Mentors must be Stanford University employees in good standing.
  • Fixed-term and Bargaining Unit staff may participate, but contractors are not eligible at this time.
  • Mentors can be recruited or nominated from across Stanford IT.
  • Past mentees can be mentors.
  • Mentors cannot have more than two mentees at a time.

More about mentees

  • Mentees must be Stanford University employees in good standing.
  • Fixed-term and Bargaining Unit staff may participate, but contractors are not eligible at this time.
  • Mentees are encouraged to discuss their eligibility with their manager before applying.
  • Mentees may recruit or request a specific mentor, if they prefer to do so.

Key Dates

Mentors and mentees commit to attending all non-optional mentoring meetings. The current Mentoring Program will run for six months, from March 2022 to August 2022. Below are key dates, deadlines, and time commitments:

  • January 6
    Application period opens
  • January 28
    Deadline for application
  • Week of February 28
    Mentoring pairs announced
  • Early March
    Program kickoff
  • May/June
    Optional check-in workshop for mentors and mentees
  • August
    Program wrap-up and closure celebration


It is recommended that you talk with your manager about your fit and eligibility for the program and any specific goals or skills you want to focus on in your mentoring relationship. The IT Mentoring Program coordinators will validate the eligibility of all applicants.

Yes. The application form will include a space for you to request a specific mentor or mentee if you have someone in mind. The Mentoring Task team will make every effort to honor these requests but cannot make any guarantees.

You should plan to meet at least six times (once per month) throughout the duration of the program. However, if you both want to meet more frequently, you are welcome to do so.

Assuming you are in compliance with university and local level guidance with respect to wearing masks, vaccination status, etc., you are welcome to meet in person or on Zoom. It is up to each mentoring pair to determine what works best for them.

Mentors and Mentees apply to participate in the mentoring program by filling out a form (linked from the Mentor and Mentee pages). The program coordinators (Brittany Cripe and Dani Aivazian) collate and review the pool of potential mentees and validate that everyone who applied is eligible to participate. The validation process may include checking in with CIO Council members, managers, HR, or requested mentors. The Mentoring Task team, which includes representatives from across Stanford IT, convenes to complete the matching of mentees with mentors, seeking to ensure compatibility wherever possible. The goal is to match individuals to be matched based on their indicated preferences, according to these general guidelines.

As much as possible:

  • Strive for alignment of mentee interests and requests with mentor strengths and offers.
  • Strive for cross-organizational, cross-Stanford IT pairings.
  • Ensure that mentor and mentee pairings are not on the same team.
  • Accommodate specific requests (e.g., for a specific mentor).
  • Strive to pair mentors and mentees to provide fresh perspectives.
  • Limit participants to two formal mentoring relationships.
  • Prioritize new mentee applicants for pairing first.
  • Leave no mentee applicant unpaired, if we can help it.

The Mentoring Task team will share the proposed mentoring pairs with the CIO Council members (who will share with their managers and leads) and obtain final approval, prior to communicating the pairs broadly. 

The Mentoring Task team will communicate the final mentoring pairs in late February.

University IT's Director of Organizational Effectiveness Dani Aivazian and Organizational Effectiveness Specialist Brittany Cripe are the program coordinators and also the escalation point for program concerns, issues, and questions. You can reach them by emailing to