Give Back: Become a Mentor

image: iStock

On a Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) survey, we asked members to share one essential lesson learned from a mentor (see LAND for a recap of the responses), and many of the answers reflected heartfelt gratitude for a helpful or transformative insight shared. Many professionals cite the importance of mentorship at different points in their careers. As students and emerging professionals navigate the impacts on the profession during the COVID-19 crisis, mentorship can play an even larger role, as a source of guidance and reassurance during these uncertain times.

The 2020 ASLA Mentorship Program launched in conjunction with the announcement of free ASLA membership for students this spring. The goal the program is to foster relationships between students and seasoned professionals that allows both parties to increase their understanding of the many facets of landscape architecture.

While many students have eagerly signed up, we are looking for more mentors to step up. What do you need to be a mentor? Just a minimum of five years of experience, and a willingness to be engaged. If you’ve benefited from the guidance of a mentor, now is the time to give back to the landscape architecture community by taking on that role. Prospective mentors are invited to sign up by August 31 so new student members can get paired with a mentor.

Remember: the mentor-mentee relationship is beneficial for both. It sets the mentee up for life-long success in their chosen profession and offers the mentor new perspectives. Don’t miss out in becoming a mentor.

The program is designed to provide matches on an ongoing basis throughout 2020. The mentor will contact the mentee to find a mutually agreed upon form of communication. In order to maintain social distancing, all meetings will be virtual. Please be mindful of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and local officials’ requirements to shelter-in-place.

Students can work with their mentor to shape the conversation to their unique needs and interests. Conversation topics could include navigating the industry during this challenging time; portfolios and portfolio reviews; resumes; and how to maintain routine, wellness, and mental health during this time. Use ASLA’s suggested guidelines to maximize the potential of your professional growth.

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