The UW-Madison Division of Extension Mentoring Program serves as a staff development method for all new staff. It is to provide a network of support and guidance to all new staff. A peer mentor contributes to the successful onboarding of new colleagues.
The program areas are selective in whom they choose to be a mentor. A mentor should:
- have a similar job and/or programmatic responsibilities;
- is geographically proximate;
- is able to meet frequently with the new employee;
- possesses a great deal of organizational and program knowledge;
- is willing to share information and can successfully initiate and maintain a relationship;
- possesses emotional intelligence and awareness
The mentee not only benefits from the program. This is a leadership opportunity for many mentors. And, new colleagues often enter their Extension roles with a great deal of past experience and knowledge that helps a long-time Extension Educator learn new things. It also builds a network of support that may last much longer than the program is designed. It can last an entire career for both the mentor and mentee.
Janeth Orozco, Nutrition Educator, has been asked to be a mentor for a new bilingual Nutrition Educator. Amanda Miller, Nutrition Coordinator, has served as a mentor for two fellow Coordinators for quite a few years.