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CENTENNIAL MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
CONTACT: PROFESSOR S. BILBEISI
In the AIA Code of Ethics, members are encouraged to “nurture their fellow professionals as they progress through stages of their career, beginning with professional education in the academy, progressing through internship, and continuing throughout their career.” The National Society Professional Engineers echoes this statement with their encouragement to members to provide career guidance for youth. The Oklahoma State University School of Architecture, with its professionally oriented degrees, is well positioned to offer the Centennial Mentorship Program. This program is specifically designed to facilitate mentorship opportunities between graduates and students in professional school.
The benefits to the student mentee are obvious – having access to a voice outside academia is of invaluable advantage. The mentor is able to provide input regarding elements of the profession not readily visible to the student still in the throes of completing their education. For the mentor, there are also benefits to participation – the satisfaction of lending a hand to those on the path just behind oneself, and to be able to share lessons learned along the way. In addition, the mentor will gain exposure to the thoughts and ideas of the next generation of architects and architectural engineers.
Generally speaking, a mentor is someone who provides insights, instruction, and advice in a variety of settings. A mentor is expected to model professional behavior, and to deal with the mentee in a collegial manner. The mentor must be willing to listen, maintain all information as confidential, and to help seek solutions to issues as they arise. A good mentor must possess vision, integrity, and follow-through.
As the one seeking out mentorship, the mentee must be proactive. The student must be willing to ask questions, listen, and accept suggestions and critique. The student must respect the boundaries of the relationship, be professional, and sensitive to the mentor’s available time.
The expectations of the mentoring relationship include contact at least once a month – email, Facebook messaging, or via other unobtrusive methods, and an in-person exchange once per semester such as a visit/tour of the mentor’s firm, or a visit to the School of Architecture (tailgate, homecoming, project jury, etc). If an in-person meeting is not possible, Skype or Google chat could substitute. Finally, under no circumstances shall this Centennial Mentorship Program be viewed as a platform to recruit potential employees for a firm, or for a student to develop expectations regarding future employment. The relationship is expected to remain in force until the mentee’s graduation.
Mentors: Any graduate of the OSU School of Architecture (B Arch, M Arch, B ArcE, M ArcE) is eligible to become a mentor!
Student Mentees: Any student in good standing with the university, and who has been accepted into the Professional School or Architecture or Architectural Engineering, may participate in the program.
The attached mentorship application form is required to begin the process – complete the mentor application, or the student application, as appropriate. Students are also required to submit a resume with their application.