Back in high school, I used to run track, or as we call it in Australia, “athletics.” I was lucky enough to have morning training sessions around Sydney’s famous harbour. We ran over the Harbour Bridge to the Opera House and back. At the last bridge pylon on the return leg, our athletics coach, Mr. Bookers, would be waiting for each and every runner. I can still remember him exhorting us on, pushing us to finish strong. Mr. B. also used to persuade me to finish weekend race days with a 400m after just running the lung-bursting and lactic acid-building 800m (and usually after just having thrown up–a race day ritual). He was my first mentor both on and off the track.
The value of a mentor both personally and professionally is almost universal. Many of Hollywood’s most memorable characters are mentors: Yoda, Mr. Miyagi, Sister Mary Clarence, Mary Poppins. They are both teacher and student, guide and listener, supporter and hype person. However, identifying, approaching and building a mentoring relationship is far from easy or natural. Especially in the aid and development sector.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
We’re partnering with Monash University to deliver an innovative and unique online mentoring program.
The program is going to facilitate one-of-a-kind mentorships between Monash Master of International Development Practice students and experienced development practitioners from around the world.
It will run for 12 weeks from late August to November 2015. Mentors and mentees will spend 3-4 hours each month working through our custom-designed mentoring modules, building a relationship, discussing development practice and sharing knowledge. Although this pilot is exclusively for Monash students, our vision is to roll out this program for all students, volunteers and development practitioners in the world within 18 months.
But, we need you.
Do you have what it takes to be a mentor? If so, we want to hear from you! We are recruiting mentors for the program to match with Monash students. In addition to The Feels, you will also receive an honorarium of AU$75 as a token of our appreciation.
Please e-mail Jennifer Fang (jennifer.fang[at]whydev[dot]org) with your name and the organisation you currently work for, and in 200 words or less, outline your development experience and why you would make a great mentor.
This is your chance to pass on your wisdom to the next generation of development workers! Applications close: COB Friday 14th August (AEST).
Featured image shows the starting line on a track. Photo from Flickr.
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