Aspire - Leadership for the future

Aspire Foundation Mentors - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What topics are covered in mentoring sessions? 

A: Topics are determined by the mentee and can include areas such as managing a team, career planning, strategy, communication and influencing, raising profile, personal confidence and work/life balance.

Q: Do I need to have specific knowledge of my mentee's industry and specialism?
A: No, the objective of the Aspire Foundation mentoring programme is to partner the expertise and experience of the business and corporate world with charities and social enterprises. Please share your ideas and suggestions of what has worked for you with regard to your career, management and leadership experience and support your mentee to apply it to their specific role and organisation.

Q: Who initiates first contact?
A: Either of you. You will be introduced to each other at the same time. Please reach out as soon as possible. If in the unlikely event, you do not hear from your mentee within 10 days, please let us know and we will chase and if necessary, rematch you.

Q: What should I cover in the first mentoring session?
A: Establish the mentoring relationship first. Get to know each other and establish trust and complete confidentiality on both sides. Determine two or three specific areas that the mentee wants helps on and set some goals for the six-month programme. At the end of the call, see if your mentee will commit to putting into practice some of the ideas and suggestions discussed.

Q: Do I need to fill out an application to be part of the Aspire Foundation mentoring programme?
A: Yes. Please fill out an application here.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of people from my organisation who can apply to be mentors?
A: No. There is no limit to the number of people from one organisation who can apply to be part of the Aspire Foundation mentor programme as mentors.

Q: Do I have to be in a certain country to participate?
A: No. The Aspire Foundation's work is global. All are welcome to participate, regardless of where you are based. Mentoring takes place via the telephone unless otherwise agreed by both parties.

Q: Will my mentee be based in the same country as me?
A: We will make every effort to match you with a mentee who is based in the same country as you, so long as they are the most appropriate mentee available at the time. There may be cases in which mentors and mentees are based in different countries. If this happens and the two of you are finding it too difficult to arrange times to speak, we will make every effort to find you another mentee.

Q: Will I be able to select my mentee?
A: Yes. The Aspire Foundation will give you a list of possible organisations you can work with. While we cannot guarantee that you will be matched with someone from that organisation, we will make every effort to do so.

Q: What criteria does the matching process include?
A: We will match you with the most suitable mentee available based on your answers on your application, where you are based, the kind of work you do and the position you hold.

Q: How long will it take for me to be paired up with a mentee?
A: We aim to match mentors and mentees as soon as possible after we receive your application, certainly within 1 month.

Q: How often to the mentoring calls take place and for what duration?
A: Mentoring calls take place once a month for one hour.

Q: Who schedules the calls?
A: We will provide both parties with contact details for the other via the email address provided on your application and it is up to both of you to find a mutually convenient time for the calls. Please do not reschedule calls unless really urgent.

Q: How soon should I expect to hear from my mentee?
A: You should aim to have your first call within one month of receiving your mentee's details.

Q: Am I permitted to meet with my mentee face-to-face?
A: Yes. It is entirely up to you and your mentee how you want the mentoring process to happen. The initial commitment is for phone calls once a month for six months. However, it is up to the two of you to decide if you wish to continue and in what capacity.

Q: Who pays for the calls?
A: Mentees (or their organisations) are responsible for covering the cost of the calls, this is the only cost associated with this programme.

Q: Can my mentee and I use Skype instead of the phone?
A: Yes. It is up to you and your mentee to decide which communication medium is most convenient for both of you.

Q: Once the six months initial commitment is over, am I under any obligation to continue?
A: No. There is no commitment required beyond the initial six months.

Q: Can I extend my mentoring beyond the initial six months?
A: This is entirely up to you and your mentee. If you both agree to do so, you can continue the relationship for as long as you wish.

Q: Am I able to change mentees?
A: Yes. If the relationship is not working out for whatever reason, you do have the option of changing mentees. However, once you have made the decision to change, you will have to rejoin the pool of mentors waiting for matches.

Q: What if I want to terminate my mentoring before the initial six months is over?
A: If, for any reason, you do not wish to continue with the mentoring, please let us know as soon as possible and we will get in touch with your mentee to inform them.

Q: Who is responsible for the success of the mentoring?
A: Although we will strive to pair you with the most suitable mentee possible, it is up to you and your mentee to ensure that a mutually satisfactory relationship is achieved. The Aspire Foundation is not responsible for the success of this arrangement.

Q: Is this a one-off offer?
A: No. The Aspire Foundation mentoring programme is a rolling admissions process. We are matching mentors and mentees all the time. Please do apply when you can and we will match you with an appropriate mentee as soon as one is available.

Q: Can I have another mentee after my six months with my first mentee?
A: Yes. If you would like to mentor another mentee, just let us know and we will put you in touch with another one.

Q: How does the Aspire Foundation measure its success?
A: We will require that you give feedback after you complete the initial six months of mentoring. Also, we would be pleased to hear any feedback you have along the way.

Building Blocks for the Girls

We have to believe inside that we deserve to be where we are, and to achieve what we have achieved. But we also have to understand that we cannot hold a belief that society owes us anything and instead make our own destinies, and likewise complain that nothing will ever change without understanding that we can control our own reality.