The Mentor Program serves all interested master’s students over their entire enrollment at Harris. All students who wish to participate are eligible.

Program Overview:

The Mentor Program, which has been part of the Harris student experience for more than 25 years, facilitates relationships between students and professionals, many of whom are Harris alumni.  The program broadens students’ real-world learning experiences and professionally relevant knowledge base, and helps them build powerful professional networks. The Mentor Program uses a multi-level structure that fosters meaningful connections between students and mentors. Throughout the two-year program, students benefit from programming focusing on policy area(s) of interest in their first year, followed by a one-on-one relationship with a mentor in their second year.  Harris mentors call on their experience to help students connect academic training with practical opportunities and to navigate the transition to professional careers.  Mentors include elected officials, CEOs, executive directors, policy advocates, and other professionals who freely give their time and insight to the important task of nurturing our next generation of policy leaders.

First Year Programming Overview:

The first year of the Mentor Program focuses on programming covering skills and approaches in professional networking.  Programming will be scheduled throughout the academic year, and mentees and mentors are encouraged to interact with one another outside of the context of the structure programming.  Programming will include large scale panel programs that will facilitate discussion around first year outcomes. To fully participate in the first year of the Mentor Program, students should attend at least two of these programs.

First Year Outcomes:

As a result of participating in programming in the first year of the Mentor Program participants will;

  • Gain an expanded network of policy practitioners working in their policy area(s) of interest. (Developmental Outcome)
  • Identify an increased network of students who are interested in working in their policy area(s) of interest.  (Developmental Outcome)
  • Gain an increased understanding of how to network as a policy practitioner. (Learning Outcome)
  • Show an increased confidence of their professional networking skills and ability.  (Developmental Outcome)

2nd Year Programming Overview:

The second year of the Mentor Program focuses on a one-on-one mentorship relationship between mentees and mentors.  Students bid on a mentor during the summer and are matched at the start of the academic year.  The one-on-one mentorship relationship last for the entire academic year.  Mentors and mentees will be expected to touch base at least once per academic quarter and will be provided a suggested curriculum of topics they should be discussing through the academic year.  Mentees and mentors are encouraged to interact with one another outside of the context of the quarterly touch base.  Mentees must apply for the program before the end the Spring academic quarter of their first day and will be matched with their mentor by the start of the Autumn academic quarter of their second year.  Much of the interactions between mentees and mentors is driven by the pairs themselves, however signature programming will be offered throughout the year to give mentees and mentors additional opportunities to interact and foster their relationship.  Signature programming will include the following:

  • Mentor Welcome: The Mentor Welcome kicks off the formal one-on-one mentorship relationship and serves as a school wide community building event.  The program will feature a keynote address focused on the positive impacts of mentoring.  
  • Mentor Send-Off: The Mentor Send Off is the culmination of the formal one-on-one mentorship relationship.  The program will feature closing remarks from a current mentor and mentee, the recognition of the Mentor of the Year Award, and a reflection process from mentees.  

Second Year Outcomes:

As a result of participating in a one-on-one mentorship relationship in the second year of the Mentor Program participants will;

  • Have an increased awareness of their own personal strengths and talents. (Developmental Outcome)
  • Have an increased awareness of their long-term career and personal goals. (Developmental Outcome)
  • Be able to articulate long term trajectory of a career path(s) within their policy area(s) of interest. (Learning Outcome)
  • Be able to articulate companies/organizations that operate within their policy area(s) of interest. (Learning Outcome)
  • Gain feedback on resume/cover letter/interviewing from someone in their policy area(s) of interest. (Program Outcome)
  • Gain an increased understanding of how to make targeted referrals and introductions to policy practitioners working in their areas of interest, targeted geographic areas, and/or organizations of interest. (Developmental Outcome)