What is the expected time commitment for a Bear Connection mentor?
The initial meeting between you and your mentee will take about 2 hours. This two hours includes treating them to lunch (on us). Following this initial interaction, contact is decided on by you and your mentee. Our recommendation is 1-2 times a month for the program duration of 6-9 months, but it should work to accommodate the request of your mentee while also fitting in with your commitment ability. Interactions are not expected to be lunch each time and can be an email or a phone call. If the mentee would like to cut the relationship short that is fine as well.
What if I realize after beginning the relationship that the time commitment is too much for me?
We value you as a volunteer and want Bear Connection to be a positive experience. If the commitment becomes overwhelming please let us know and we will assign a different ambassador to your mentee. Communication is important and we cannot fix what we do not know. Please let us know so we can help!
How much notice do I receive before being assigned a mentee?
Mentors will be placed on-call a week in advance. When we ask you to be on call you can notify us at that time whether you would be available for the following week. The Wednesday prior to orientation we receive the final list of attendees and can notify the selected mentors. Being on-call does not mean that you will receive a mentee for the following week.
What if something arises that prevents me from fulfilling my initial commitment?
We do not want Bear Connection to be a stress for you. A stressed mentor leads to a stressed mentee and a poor experience with Bear Connection. If you have a personal or professional matter arise that hinders your ability to fulfill your commitment to Bear Connection let us know and we will reassign your mentee to a new mentor.
How many mentees will I be assigned at one time?
For the majority of mentors only one mentee will be assigned at a time. If you are three or four months in to your first relationship and feel that you could take on a second one we could discuss assigning a second. The important piece here is that mentors and mentees have a positive experience that is fostered through both sides keeping their commitment and the mentor being available to provide support.
Am I allowed to transport my mentee in my personal vehicle?
We do not support mentors transporting their mentee in their vehicle during Bear Connection sponsored activities.
What should I wear during my first interaction with my mentee?
First and foremost wear what is appropriate for your office. If you are able the alumni polo or Bearwear are a great way to show your Missouri State pride. We do ask that you wear your Bear Connection nametag.
What is the training like? Why is it mandatory to attend?
Attending training is important to ensure that everyone receives the same information and is able to receive it directly from Bear Connection. During training we cover the research that went in to the creation of Bear Connection, cover the logistics of the program, provide you with resources, give you the opportunity to hear from HR, and present information from Counseling Center on developing trust in relationships. You are only required to attend one training during your time as a mentor.