Advisory Network FAQ

Q: Will this program take up a lot of my time and is it a long-term commitment?
A: The PRSA Rochester Advisory Network is structured and designed to accommodate the limited schedule of the PRSA Rochester members and our area young professionals and students (mentees). It is an informal program, so the time commitment is extremely flexible and dependent on the “tier” that each mentor registers under as well as the type of projects/meetings requested by the mentee(s).

Q: What is the tiered program?
A: Our three “tiered” program ensures that our mentors and prospective mentees are best matched to meet individual needs. As a member of this exclusive program, prospective mentees have access to an online directory of area mentors who agree to give their valuable time, contact information, and areas of interest to help young professionals achieve their goals. Tiers include:

  1. Small group-based mentoring: Opportunities for mentors to occasionally meet with small groups of students/mentees – facilitated by YPRP.
  2. Project-based mentoring: Opportunities for mentors/mentees to collaborate on specific project(s) for a designated period of time – whether a resume, portfolio-building or another project.
  3. Informal/informational interview mentoring: Opportunities to occasionally and selectively connect for one-to-one informational interviews, brief phone exchanges, or via email, for specific questions.

Q: How long will the network run?
A: The network will run similarly to an alumni community. Access will begin when 1) a mentee is confirmed as a member of the network after a brief phone screening and; 2) the mentor is added to the network’s address book. All parties will continue to have access to those in the network as long as they wish to continue to keep their information included in the online portal.

Q: What are the requirements of being a mentor?

  1. Share knowledge regarding jobs, career paths and the professional world
  2. Respect confidentiality
  3. Establish a strong and trusting relationship with mentees
  4. Provide constructive feedback and criticism

Q: What are the requirements of being a mentee?

  1. Accept feedback without being defensive
  2. Maintain consistent contact with whichever mentor you are working with for the full length time agreed by both parties
  3. Willingness to learn and gain advice
  4. Respect confidentiality
  5. Not afraid to ask questions
  6. Has an open mind

Q: Who initiates the first contact?

A: Mentees will typically be the first to initiate contact with a mentor, who is selected from the PRSA Rochester Advisory Network’s online directory. After the mentee first contacts the mentor, either mentor or mentee may contact the other depending on the request/inquiry.

Q: How should a mentee make the first connection/interaction with a mentor?
A: The mentee should reach out to the mentor based on the contact preferences listed within the PRSA Advisory Network (e.g. via phone, email, etc.) and based on the tier that the mentor registered. Depending on the request, a first meeting may include an in person meeting to allow both parties to put a face with a name and to learn about each other’s backgrounds, goals, and to discuss the mentee’s desired topic of conversation. However, it is not necessary to meet mentors or mentees in person when all that may be needed is a resume review or other request that may be completed electronically or via phone.

Q: Do mentors and mentees need to discuss suggested topics during their meetings?
A: Mentors and students are encouraged to discuss the following suggested topics:

  • Resume writing
  • Portfolio building
  • Class schedule, program and other related courses
  • Internships
  • Local companies and organizations
  • Networking opportunities
  • Obtaining an APR
  • Pursuing a graduate degree
  • Managing conflict and other challenges in the workplace
  • PRSA Membership

 However, mentors and mentees are free to discuss whichever topics as they mutually agree.

Q: How often should the mentors and mentees meet?
A: The schedule that the mentor and mentee decide upon is up to that particular pairing and for what purpose the mentee originally reached out to that particular mentor. You may meet as often as you mutually agree. Meetings also don’t have to have a specific format or topic.

Q: What happens if a mentor or mentee is unable to contact or hear from the other?
A: Sometimes communications between mentors and mentees break down. If so, try contacting your mentor or mentee again. If there is still no response, please email YPRP (at) prsarochester (dot) org and the program coordinators will assist. 

Q: How do I participate in the PRSA Rochester Advisory Network?
A: Both mentors and mentees must complete the online questionnaire. To register to as a mentor, click here, and to register as a mentee, click here. Once the mentee has registered, a phone screening session will also take place. The mentee will be emailed with more detailed information on this part of the process shortly after they register. 

Q: What are the key benefits of joining this program as a mentor?
A: The key benefits include the following:

  • Improve personal leadership skills and ability in one-to-one and group presentation settings
  • Act as a sounding board in someone’s professional development, while also building your own professional network
  • Provide career-support and advice to those in need/transition, while making a difference as a role model/leader in the community

Q: What are the key benefits of joining this program as a mentee?
A: The key benefits of joining the program as a mentee include the following:

  • Will learn how to develop and nurture a professional network with access to top area professionals
  • Opportunity to discuss career plans and aspirations in a comfortable, “safe” professional setting
  • Gain knowledge of workplace “do’s and don’ts”
  • Understand how to balance work and other responsibilities and set priorities
  • Gain the confidence to challenge oneself to achieve new goals/explore alternatives

Q: Who is eligible for the PRSA Rochester Advisory Network?
A:Those eligible for the Advisory Network must be one of the following:

  • For Mentors:
    • PRSA Rochester chapter member
  • For Mentees:
    • PRSSA chapter/PR club student at a local college or university in the Greater Rochester area
    • Affiliate member of PRSSA or PRSA
    • Have completed a PR internship or otherwise demonstrated serious commitment to enter into the PR/marketing-communications field.