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Mentoring at the Viadrina

Elements

The 12-month Viadrina Mentoring program is offering structured and professional support for female students in their career path planning.

The program consists of four central elements. Those elements are intertwined with each other and connected to individual objectives regarding the professional and personal development. At the beginning of the program, the participants are identifying those objectives for themselves.

 The four elements of the program involve: Pikto_Kreislauf_kl ©Viadrina Mentoring

1. An individual Mentoring-relationship with a person (mentor) of a professional field the mentee is interested in, or with a professionally experienced person, who is offering support to the mentee for their professional orientation and determination

2. A complementary framework program as well as a demand-oriented qualification program

3. Networking and structured peer-exchange in small groups

4. Continuous supervision and joint reflection of the own learning process with the program administrator

 Individual Mentoring-Relationship Pikto_Dialog_blau_kl ©Viadrina Mentoring

 A mentor is offering his or her professional experience and procedure knowledge, thereby supervising and supporting the mentees in decisions relevant to their professional orientation.

Central elements of the Viadrina Mentoring are the regular and personal discussions consisting of mutual exchange between the mentee and his or her mentor. In self-organised meetings the mentee is learning about the mentor’s professional experience and gets the possibility to address own ideas, visions and questions in a confiding atmosphere. This partnership is characterised by absence of hierarchy, individual organization and a safe space, therefore facilitating learning and experimenting.

A mentor is encouraging reflection regarding career paths, discusses decisions and strategies and motivates to develop and strengthen relevant professional skills for the future. Moreover, the mentor can for instance report about specifics in the faculty culture and can be supportive to self-representation. Namely, he or she supports and encourages goal-oriented solution finding, however, is not responsible for the realization. More importantly: A mentor is no job agency.

The program administrator implements support in entering the tandem and during the course of the mentoring-relationship. Furthermore, the program offers a preparation workshop.

Complementary framework program

 The framework program serves as the formalisation and assurance of quality of the Viadrina Mentoring. It involves the opening and closing event, as well as workshops concerning preparation and reflection of the program. The participants get the possibility to get to know each other, to work together on upcoming objectives, develop new topics and to build networks.

Every program cycle precedes a preparation phase, which includes a preparation workshop (including potential analysis, competence coaching and objective finding) for the mentees

October opening workshop
March half-time reflection
Autumn closing event and handing over of the certificates/opening ceremony of the new mentoring cycle
 Qualification program Pikto_Workshop_kl ©Viadrina Mentoring

 A focal point of the training offer is the personal and professional development of the mentees. During an intensive training of one or two days, inter-disciplinary, professional and academic qualifying key competences are strengthened and developed. The training leaders are involving external, gender-competent experts with substantial experience on the topics considered. During the trainings, the mentees are expanding their competences, are able to direct their questions to experts and can work on their individual fields of development.

 The trainings involve for example the following areas:

  • Methodological introduction into peer-work
  • Strategical network analysis – visible competences in networks
  • Studying and then doctorate?
  • Communication and handling conflicts
  • Presentation techniques and self-representation
  • Career strategies and career path planning
  • Competence coaching

 Networking and structured peer-exchange Pikto_Gruppe_kl ©Viadrina Mentoring

 The inclusion in professional and personal networks is a promotional factor to a career. Besides the relationship to a mentor, the mentees are constructing supportive and motivational networks during structured meetings with a peer-group. During cooperative counselling processes, the mentees reflect personal objectives, ideas and problems regarding the professional development and together, solutions are developed. An introduction into the basics of this supportive teamwork are offering the workshops about “Cooperative Counselling” and “Success Teams”.

 Counselling and Supervision Pikto_Mensch_blau_kl ©Viadrina Mentoring

During the whole process, the program administration is at the disposal of the mentees concerning questions and concerns by offering counsel sessions and, moreover, offering an individual learning supervision. Together the set objectives and the individual learning processes are reflected on in personal meetings.

 Child Care

All mentees and mentors can make use of a childcare offer during the whole course of the program. This is realised in cooperation with the appointee for the university’s family office.

Quality Assurance

Furthermore, a continuous evaluation during the program helps to improve its sustainability and to adapt it ideally to the needs of the mentees. Participation at the program evaluation is obligatory.