Washington Evaluators Week: Mentor Minutes – A Community-Building Initiative by Emily Bango

Hi there! My name is Emily Bango and I’m an evaluator based in Washington, DC.  I’m also the current Mentor Minutes Coordinator for Washington Evaluators (WE).

Mentor Minutes is an initiative that aims to connect current WE members to experienced evaluation professionals in the WE community through short-term mentorship opportunities.

The purpose of Mentor Minutes is to pair experienced evaluators (mentors) with aspiring, emerging, or seasoned evaluators (mentees) and establish mutually beneficial professional connections. Mentors can provide feedback regarding careers (starting one or transitioning to a different sector), reflect on their professional experiences, and help build the capacity and networks of emerging evaluators. Mentees, in contrast, can glean insights from mentors regarding academic and professional pathways, technical advice, and general networking.

Lessons Learned: From my perspective, Mentor Minutes give us an opportunity to build a stronger local evaluation community. Mentees don’t necessarily have to be new to the evaluation field – often they aren’t – but instead individuals who are already working in the field and seeking outside guidance, advice, or just an objective listener as they deliberate a professional decision. The sessions can also provide mentors with new perspectives and opportunities to connect with others working in the space.

We currently have more mentees that are registering for the program than mentors and we are always looking for more volunteers to serve in this role! I imagine that some people believe that they don’t have the experience or time to serve in this role, but it’s a really nice opportunity to demonstrate the value of your professional experiences and we ask for just two substantive discussions per pairing – we want this to serve as beneficial (instead of burdensome) to both parties.

Serving as the Mentor Minutes Coordinator has allowed me the opportunity to feel more connected to the evaluation community in Washington D.C. I’m grateful to be playing a small role in connecting individuals to support growth, information-sharing, and solidarity within a group of diverse and dedicated professionals.

Get Involved: If interested, you can sign up using the links below!

 

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Washington Evaluators (WE) Affiliate Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from WE Affiliate members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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