The Stanford IT Mentoring Program is a CIO Council-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.

The application period for the 2023 IT Mentoring Program is now open! Submit your application by December 21, 2022.

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.

  • 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 cannot have more than two mentees at a time.

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.

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

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.

New, Expanded Options in 2023

This year’s IT Mentoring Program offers some exciting new options to meet the diverse needs of our growing IT Community. 

Mentoring for Year Up interns

Mentors can now volunteer to mentor a Year Up intern as part of the IT Mentoring Program. 

Previously, a separate mentoring program (the IDEAL IT Mentoring Program ) offered this option. This year, we've retired the IDEAL IT Mentoring Program and integrated it into the IT Mentoring Program. This will help streamline processes and eliminate confusion for participants.

Just-in-time mentoring

We are piloting a new option that will provide access to a one-time mentor for just-in-time problem solving. At this point in time, we are recruiting mentors who want to serve in this capacity (either exclusively or in addition to a regular mentoring relationship). Mentors will have the option to indicate their interest within the IT Mentoring Program application form. Once we have assembled a pool of interested mentors, we will open up the pilot so folks can try this out on an as-needed basis. 

**No application is required for IT staff who are interested in taking advantage of just-in-time mentoring. Applications are only required for those interested in the full, six month program.

Coming soon! Sponsorship opportunities for BIPOC staff

This option is still under development but we are targeting the spring timeframe for an official roll out. 

Key Dates

Mentors and mentees commit to attending all non-optional mentoring meetings. The current Mentoring Program will run from January 2023 to August 2023. Below are key dates, deadlines, and time commitments:

  • November 29, 2022
     
    Application period opens
  • December 21, 2022
     
    Application deadline
  • Week of January 23
     
    Mentoring pairs announced
  • Early February
     
    Program kickoff
  • May
     
    Mid-point check-in workshop 
  • Early August
     
    Program wrap-up and celebration

FAQs

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.

An exception to this is if you are taking advantage of the one-time/just-in-time mentoring option, which is designed for very specific topics that can be addressed in a single mentoring session.

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 an application form. The program coordinators (Brittany Cripe and Dani Aivazian) collate and review the pool of potential applicants 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 based on their indicated preferences, according to the following 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 January.

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 uit-oeteam@lists.stanford.edu