UW IT Mentoring

UW-IT Mentoring connects UW–Madison employees with fellow colleagues in peer relationships that enhance skills, knowledge and experience.

What does an ideal mentoring relationship look like?

It’s a relationship in which the mentor and mentee meet, introduce themselves and establish objectives and goals for their roles in the relationship. Together, they develop a mutually beneficial plan. During the term of the relationship, and ideally beyond, the mentee would:

  • Freely pose questions and solicit advice from the mentor related to job or task challenges.
  • Request professional introductions and referrals, as determined by the success and comfort level of the mentor-mentee relationship.
  • Consider with the mentor what goals to work toward.

How do you know when you’ve succeeded?

  • Mentor-to-mentee pairing comes as close as possible to the mentee’s stated objectives for the relationship.
  • The mentor and mentee agree on high-level tasks and exercises for the mentee – including real-life ones and tasks that also benefit the mentor.

What’s the difference between mentoring and networking?

Both include mentor experience and knowledge and depend on the mentor-mentee relationship.

  • Mentoring can be defined as plans, discussions and activities with a major focus on learning and task achievement.
  • Networking includes a targeted focus on professional relationships beyond just that of the mentor and mentee, joining groups, raising visibility, volunteering, teaching and guiding others and making personal introductions.

Annual Matchup 2024

The program will match mentors with mentees who will then establish clear expectations and goals in their mentoring relationship. A flexible one-year format with clear expectations and outcomes for those in a mentoring relationship.

The year will consist of a series of sponsored events to support and grow these relationships and promote cross-campus collaboration, focusing on fostering mentoring relationships in times of uncertainty. To sign up, just fill out a mentor or mentee survey below before December 15, 2023.

Become a mentor

 As a mentor, you will be helping a mentee set and attain career and personal goals, meeting regularly to share best practices, and encouraging excellence.

Become a mentee

As a mentee, you will learn about the campus and the IT community while expanding your network, exploring potential career paths, and developing professional opportunities.

Everyone who signs up to be a mentor or mentee will receive an invitation to our kick-off event on January 17 from noon to 2pm.

A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.
Oprah Winfrey

Why you should consider participating in Mentoring

The UW can be a difficult place for a new IT employee. Because we are a distributed IT institution, there may not be just one answer, but multiple possible answers to any given question.

In addition, the UW offers such diversity of skills honed by our IT colleagues that is can be easy to think you are alone. But you aren’t. Chances are, someone, somewhere, has been where you are. And they’ve been stumped and confused and looking for guidance.

A mentor doesn’t have to have all of the answers. Likewise, a mentee doesn’t have to feel like they can’t be themselves and ask what they think are dumb questions of their mentor. A mentor/mentee relationship is all about being open, respectful and able to discuss topics in a non-judgemental environment. It’s about going through some personal growth together, and using that relationship to build a better person, with a better plan of where they want to be.

Mentors gain the perspective of looking at campus through another person’s eyes, and mentees can get the benefit of years of experience that they can use to build their own careers.

This culture of working together to improve each other’s perspective is really the best outcome for all IT Professionals on campus.

Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

What does being a mentor or mentee require me to do?

As A Mentor You Will:

  • Commit to regularly scheduled meeting times with your mentee
  • Help the mentee set and attain career and personal goals
  • Share best practices including unique professional experiences
  • Establish trust with your mentee and maintaining confidentiality
  • Listen actively, offering constructive and meaningful feedback for your mentee
  • Help grow the program by informing others of mentoring opportunities, and
    encourage participation whenever possible

As a Mentee You Will:

  • Commit to regularly scheduled meeting times with your mentor
  • Share your concerns and career goals with your mentor
  • Participate in goal setting for the success of your mentoring relationship.
  • Be open to feedback from your mentor
  • Be ready to network in a community of other mentors and mentees
The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.
Steven Spielberg

Be a mentor

How do I become a mentor?

Complete the Mentor Information Form in order to begin your journey as a mentor. You will be giving back to the UW Madison IT community, expanding your personal and professional network, building leadership competencies and improving the IT staff climate at UW–‍Madison. A member of the UW-IT Mentoring Program Steering Team will reach out to you and get you added to the mentor list.

What happens once I become a mentor?

A mentee will contact you to introduce themselves and set up a time to meet. You are welcome to (not required to) bring a Mentoring Agreement Form to the first meeting as a starting point for establishing ground rules, expectations and goals of your mentoring relationship. Each time you meet with a mentee, please fill out the Mentor Reporting Survey.

Steering Team

  • Conor Klecker / co-chair
  • Lindsay Bolan / co-chair
  • Conor Klecker
  • Ella Tschopik
  • Jerome Watson
  • David Parter

This program was sponsored by the CIO and developed by the UW IT Onboarding Team.