Frequently Asked Questions
- What am I expected to do? Mentors are expected to provide their Astronaut Scholar with about one hour of support and interaction per month. Most of this interaction will take place via email and other web-related tools (for example, instant messaging) or face-to-face, as appropriate. Mentors should work with their Astronaut Scholar to determine what kind of support will be most useful—specific feedback related to further academic pursuits, research internships, pursuing employment, general career advice, professional or technical advancement information, personal encouragement, and so on.
- How long will the commitment be? We ask our mentors to commitments to one year with our current cohort of Astronaut Scholar selectees in order to ensure that the newer Astronaut Scholar is able to fully benefit from the relationship. For our Astronaut Scholar alum mentoring relationships, they can be time-oriented, goal-oriented, or open ended. If a mentor must leave the relationship early, we request at least one month's notice in order to search for a replacement mentor with similar background.
- Are there any potential risks to me or my company? No. It is not appropriate for mentors to engage in any business transactions with their Astronaut Scholars; instead, the relationship should only involve the flow of general information and advice.
- Relationship is not going well or I am concerned about mentorship, what to do? We encourage letting the Astronaut Scholar know about the situation and contact the Programs Staff at ASF, and we will provide our full support to resolve the situation in a positive and satisfactory manner.
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Share your expertise with those willing and eager to learn.
- COMMIT AT LEAST ONE INTERACTION/HOUR OF SUPPORT per month.
- Be responsive when contacted by the mentor to initiate the relationship.
- Set aside time for the mentoring process and honour all appointments.
- Invite the Astronaut Scholar to meetings or activities, as appropriate. Schedule meetings with planned topics.
- Be flexible on meeting times and places.
- Arrange frequent contacts through telephone, email, fax, face-to-face, etc., as appropriate
- Respond to emails from your Astronaut scholar within 2 days of receipt.
- Keep information that your Astronaut scholar has shared with you confidential. If something concerning the Astronaut Scholar needs to be discussed with others, it should first be discussed within the mentoring relationship.
- Establish open and honest communication and a forum for idea exchange.
- Foster creativity and independence. Help build self-confidence and offer encouragement.
- Provide honest and timely feedback to your Astronaut scholar.
- Provide opportunities for the Astronaut scholar to talk about concerns and ask questions.
- Above all, LISTEN.
- Try to give advice on everything.
- Encourage Astronaut scholar to be totally dependent upon you.
- Provide your personal history, problems, animosities, successes, failures, etc unless they are constructive contributions.
- Be too busy when the Astronaut Scholar needs your friendship or your support. If you do not have time, give the Astronaut Scholar a heads up, so that they know when they can reach you.
- Criticize unconstructively or be harsh in tone or approach.