Asked Questions About Mentoring
Are you interested in becoming an EPICS in IEEE Mentor? Here’s what you need to know.
Who can be a mentor?
Any IEEE professional member can serve as a mentor for an EPICS in IEEE project. Individual student teams or projects may also find their own mentors directly, and these individuals can come from any background.
How will I be matched to a team?
All prospective mentors fill out a short questionnaire with general information and questions about your expertise areas. We review all questionnaires and determine if there is a current project that has requested assistance that we can pair you to. If no current projects need mentors or align with your areas of expertise, you will be notified and will enter a mentor bank. We will reach out when a new project comes along that does align with your expertise to get you started at a future date.
What is my responsibility as a mentor?
Mentors are asked to check in with their team at least once a month to follow up on project progress. During these check-in meetings, you may offer advice or even offer assistance to the team based on the team’s current needs. These check-ins could be in-person if you are geographically close to the team and travel is convenient, but in general, most of these check-ins are expected to be virtual check-ins (web conferencing, phone calls, or emails). Mentors may be asked to complete surveys or provide feedback to the EPICS in IEEE committee at occasional interviews.
What is the expected time commitment?
In general, we expect mentoring one team to take less than 2 hours a month. You may have the opportunity to provide more time if you choose to become heavily involved in the project, but this is not an expectation.
Most projects last 1 year, so you will likely be mentoring for less than one year depending on the remaining time left in the project.
Projects funded by the EPICS in IEEE Environmental Competition (sponsored by UEF) are running from April 2022-November 2022. Mentors for these specific projects would be informed and would likely start mentoring during the summer, or when the team resumes its fall semester.
Am I compensated for being a mentor?
EPICS in IEEE mentors are not compensated for their time. Any expenses incurred during any mentoring role are the responsibility of the mentor unless pre-approved by the EPICS in IEEE committee.
Do I need to be geographically located close to an EPICS project to mentor the team?
No! While we do ask about geographic location in the matching survey, this is not a requirement for mentoring. If you happen to be close to a project team, we may partner you up even if it is outside of your expertise as sometimes being local can provide support that a virtual mentor cannot. However, most of our mentor matches will be remote mentors.
What happens if the project or team I am mentoring appears to be struggling or is not going to be successful?
Sometimes, teams struggle to complete their EPICS in IEEE Project. As a mentor, you are not expected to complete the project on their behalf or solve any/all of their problems. If it looks like a team you have been partnered to work with appears to be struggling, please reach out and let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. While we do ask for regular feedback from teams, we appreciate our mentors informing us of any potential struggles or challenges a team may be facing in case we can offer any additional support that might change the outcome of a project.