Career success requires more than education and willingness to work. Experts say that many successful people have benefited from having a mentor, a senior guide to the field, who can answer questions, point out opportunities, and smooth the way for a newcomer. Some mentoring relationships arise spontaneously, but not everyone is that lucky. How do you find a mentor if you don’t already have one?
Launched in 2008, the WRISE mentoring program is the first program geared specifically for women working in or entering the renewable energy field. It exists to connect mentors with people who need them. Because the program is Web-based, mentor and “mentee” can get together regardless of location. And because so many of us are busy, the program is designed to be flexible to different schedules and make maximum use of time.
The WRISE 1-on-1 Mentoring Program is “mentee-driven”.
That means all Mentoring Partnerships are initiated by the Mentee and focus on the Mentee’s goals even if in the end, as is often the case, mentoring partnerships end up benefitting both partners.
Who can be a mentor?
We welcome men and women with a variety of experience levels and backgrounds to participate as mentors. We recognize that the renewable energy field is rapidly growing and changing, and even one year of experience can be tremendously valuable to mentees who are just starting out. Also, given the expansive breadth of renewable energy-related careers we welcome those from all sectors, including scientists, policy-makers, engineers, government employees, technicians, project managers and developers, non-profit employees, lobbyists and advocates, educators, and attorneys – just to name a few. And a mentoring relationship can be a two-way street. In this program, sometimes a skill swap allows mentors/mentees to play both roles and share expertise – for example someone that knows a lot about project finance might want to pair up with someone who knows about project siting and together they learn from each other.
How do I find a Mentor?
You can begin finding mentors using the Member Directory Search tool when you log in to the WRISE Member Center. In the last box “Mentor Currently Available?“, use the drop-down menu to select “Yes” to see a list of all currently available mentors.
You can also use the other boxes to add criteria like sector, city, company, among others to help refine your search.
How do I find a Mentee?
You don’t. They find you. The WRISE Mentoring Program is mentee-driven for a reason. If you are particularly interested in making a partnership happen sooner rather than later, please be in touch with your assigned Mentoring Ambassador and they can make sure you are at the top of our list when someone is looking.
How do I get started?
Start by letting us know you are interested – whether as a mentee or as a mentor (and yes you can sign up as both!) – we’ll match you with a mentoring ambassador from our national committee who can help you navigate the program and find the best options for your situation.
And an important piece to remember – you’ll need to become a WRISE Member to take full advantage of the directory and resources.
For more information about WRISE’s Mentoring program, please contact the WRISE Mentoring Committee at mentoring@WRISEnergy.org.