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Mentorship Program

Mentorship is a proven approach to advancing in one’s career, particularly for those new in their field or place of employment. Mentorship goes beyond training and education by helping newcomers navigate through the sometimes confusing or complex situations they can face. Mentors and mentees can be of any age or career stage. 

Mentors benefit by giving back to the field, enjoying the satisfaction and impact of sharing their knowledge and experience, expanding their networks, and learning new things from their mentee, to name a few. Mentees benefit from new perspectives on their work, expanding their networks, gaining a sounding board for ideas and projects, and increasing their sense of self-worth.

About the Program

The SSP Mentorship Program is designed to provide an opportunity for professionals at all career levels to develop new relationships, share experiences, and learn from others outside their organizations by connecting with a mentor. It enables established professionals to give back to the industry and pay forward the support and guidance they received during the development of their career by serving as mentors. The program aims to connect members of SSP for the purposes of professional development, information exchange, networking, personal growth, and career advancement.

Mentorship can help scholarly publishing professionals identify potential career paths by expanding their knowledge of career options within the industry and provide learning experiences outside of their workplace. It can help shape the future leaders of scholarly communications through expansion of their professional competencies, and therefore, cultivate a diverse and high-quality pool of candidates in the workforce in the process. Mentorship is a critical component to attracting a more diverse workforce by providing opportunities for professionals new to the industry to learn about the culture of scholarly communications, make new contacts, and feel welcome in our community.

How it Works

Mentors and mentees apply online to participate in a mentorship cohort, or a group of mentors and mentees that begin and end the program during the same timeframe. Each mentorship cohort will last 5 months with two mentorship cohorts offered in each 12 month period. Each cohort will have a published open and close date and accept a limited number of participants. Mentees and mentors are matched by the Career Development Committee. Mentor relationships are one-to-one matches. Professional development activities, however, include group calls/meetings with all mentors and mentees so mentees can be exposed to other mentors.

A mentor can have multiple mentees, but a mentee can only have one mentor per cohort within the SSP Mentorship Program. A member can be a mentor and a mentee at the same time, however first-time participants will be given preference for open spaces. Interested members should apply via an online application. Members can reapply for each cohort, however, precedence will be given to first-time mentees.

Mentors and mentees must agree to abide by the SSP Mentorship Code of Conduct. The five-month commitment starts from date of the orientation meeting. The mentor and mentee should meet at least once a month, but can more meet more frequently if they choose.  Suggested meeting length is 30-60 minutes.  Meetings can be in-person, via telephone or by other virtual means. The mentor and mentee are required to attend the orientation and virtual discussion group. The Mentorship Program Handbook provides guidance for mentors and mentees as they navigate the Program.

Program Eligibility

  1. All participants, mentors and mentees must be current members of SSP.
  2. All membership types, including post-secondary student members with an interest in publishing/library sciences, are eligible to participate in the program.
  3. Mentors are required to have at least 3 years of experience in scholarly communication.
  4. Interested members must apply to participate in the program. A limited number of places per mentorship cohort are available. Selection for participation will be determined by the committee/SSP and will be based on application responses and likelihood of a productive mentor/mentee match. Precedence will be given to first time mentees applicants over those having participated previously in the program as a mentee.
  5. Applications must be received by the posted deadline for consideration in a given mentorship cohort.

About the Pilot Cohort

The Career Development Committee is currently running a pilot cohort from June through November 2017. Twenty-two mentor/mentee pairs are participating in the program and providing feedback. Pilot participants are required to complete a series of feedback exercises to help improve and enhance the program for future cohorts.