The 2018 Young Planner’s Group (YPG) Mentorship Program kicked off in mid-January at Fifty Seven Degrees located in downtown San Diego with a speed networking event. The event was a result of months of preparation from the YPG Mentorship & Education Committee. Prior to the event, both seasoned and emerging planners were encouraged to participate and to apply online. The applications separated professionals into three categories: 1) Senior Level Mentors (7+ years experience); 2) Mid-Level Mentors (2-7 years experience); and 3) Protégés (Students and YPG members).

Based on feedback from the 2017 program, the committee decided on a different approach to grouping the mentorship teams. Thus emerged the speed networking event where the mid-level mentors and protégés could meet all of the senior mentors before choosing their top three. The change seemed to have been a success! Eight tables were set up within the restaurant with approximately four mid-level mentors and/or protégés at each table. While snacking on appetizers, senior level mentors rotated clockwise to give their spiel. After the eight minutes were up committee members had a hard time getting people to switch tables because of the interesting conversations. Business cards were being traded and the process was working!

Following the speed networking event, the committee created mentorship teams comprised of 4 to 5 members at different levels of career development, but at a minimum includes one senior level planner to serve as a mentor. The teams were created primarily on the mid-level mentors’ and protégés’ top 3 mentor picks from the event, and then off of interests, location preferences, and goals noted in their applications. As part of the program, each team commits to a minimum of 4 one-to-one or team meetings of at least one hour each over the course of the program, which runs through June 2018. This can be done through a combination of team meetings and program events. Team meetings can include networking events, case studies, job shadowing, or any activity that provides professional growth opportunities. The YPG Mentorship & Education Subcommittee will be hosting additional Program events during the upcoming months, including Lunch & Learns, a mid-cycle social, and the milestone celebration.

If you aren’t a participant in this cycle, please consider joining us next year!