Orange County Branch Newsletter

February 2015


Mentorship Committee Program Update

By Trent Casillas

Starting May 2014, OC Branch and OC YMF teamed up to implement a mentorship program to provide guidance and support for young civil engineers while giving experienced engineers an opportunity to give back their lessons and knowledge to the civil engineering community.

The planning committee worked tirelessly to create a clear vision for the program in order to sustain the program long term.  Over 50 applications were received in the inaugural year of the program between mentors and protégés. The guidelines for being a protégé consisted of having less than 10 years of work experience and to be a mentor  required over 10 years of experience.  The applicant field was full of highly qualified engineer principals and a well- rounded group of protégés whose experience ranged from entry level engineers to senior staff level.

The committee chose 14 potential pairs based upon a combination of engineering specialty, a speed interviewing event, and looking closely at the survey results with respect to compatibility. The Speed Interview event was held at the UCI Club introducing the program and providing a lovely evening for networking. 

The Mentorship Pairing Event introduced the pairs for the first time at Dave and Busters.  The turnout and overall response was excellent. The pairs prepared a memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining goals and expectations.  The planning committee laid out topics for the future meetings such as Career Planning and Life Goals, Reviewing strengths and Career Gap Assessments, and developing an Individual Development Plan.

Since then, the planning committee has sent out a monthly check in email detailing upcoming events and encouraging feedback to tailor the program to the participants.  The next major event will be occurring in late April/Early May allowing for more feedback and checking in on the participants.  The intent of the event is to celebrate successes, assess what is working and not working, and network and share stories with other pairs. The end of the year banquet is this coming fall, and it will highlight the successes from the year and thank all the participants, especially the mentors, for being a part of the program.

The committee plans for the program to grow next year to more pairings and implement the feedback from this year to promote a successful program for the coming years.