Mentoring: What’s in it for me?

Have you ever looked back and wondered if you would be at a different place in your career with a little extra guidance? Have you ever wondered if you had known more people that could have helped you make better decisions? Have you ever felt helpless and wondered if you would have achieved your goals sooner with some extra help? Well, you are not alone. And it is better late than never! Many of us are presented with opportunities in our lives and we do not realize the value of such opportunities until it’s too late. Mentoring is one of them. As a PMI Central IL Chapter member, you can be the next mentor, mentee, or student mentee.

So, what is mentoring? Mentoring is a powerful way to make a positive impact on your life. There are several types of mentoring. One of them is traditional one-on-one mentoring. In this kind of mentoring relationship, mentee is a person who seeks to develop with the help of mentor. Mentee takes responsibility for their personal development including identifying his/her own goals and makes plan to meet them. Mentor is an experienced, wise and trusted adviser, counsellor or teacher, who helps mentee build skills to reach their goals. It is advisable to the mentees to establish SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound). A typical mentoring relationship can last from 6 months to a year, or until the goals are met.

There are several different kinds of mentoring relationships. Group mentoring is where a mentor engages in a mentoring relationship with a group of mentees and provides mentoring in a group setting rather than one-on-one setting. Reverse mentoring is where the mentors and mentees switch roles and it gives an opportunity to mentors to learn from mentees. Typical topics for reverse mentoring are technology, social media, and current trends, and typical mentees are experienced senior people who seek to learn from less experienced junior people. Flash mentoring is a one-time meeting or discussion that allows an individual to quickly learn the information they need to complete a specific task.

The mentoring programs have specific objectives and they typically revolve around certain domain areas or topics. The PMI Central IL Chapter’s mentoring program is focused on project management related topics. There are several benefits of the mentoring program. Mentees can benefit with their professional development and advancement, gaining increased confidence, learning more efficiently, receiving practical advice, increasing professional network, acquiring knowledge, to name a few. Mentors can benefit by developing their personal leadership and coaching styles, increasing professional network, being recognized as a subject matter expert and leader, broadening their perspectives, and so on.

PMI Central IL Chapter’s mentoring program was kicked off last year. Traditional one-on-one mentoring was introduced to the members last year and we had eight active mentoring pairs that benefited from the mentoring program. The mentoring was also extended to students through the PMI Central IL Chapter’s Outreach office.

Irrespective of all the turmoil happening locally, several mentors and mentees have already signed up for the mentoring program this year. We currently have three student mentees and nine professional mentees paired with mentors. The pairing was recently communicated and we are excited for the mentors and mentees/student mentees. We are always looking for new applications for mentors, mentees, or student mentees and we will be happy to pair you with appropriate mentors, mentees, or student mentees based on the interest information shared.

PMI Central IL chapter would be looking at expanding the mentoring program beyond traditional one-on-one mentoring in the future. If you have any ideas or if you are interested in participating in any of the mentoring programs, please reach out to me at Additional information about the mentoring program can be found at Mentoring Program link.

Regards and looking forward to hear from you,

Ajit Kolekar

Director of Mentoring Program – PMI Central IL Chapter

Who is PMI CIC?