Mentoring Program


Applications are now closed for the 2018/2019 Pilot Mentoring Program. The mentoring program connects AWWA student members with experienced water professionals.


Program Goals

Goals of the mentoring program include:

  • Increase personal fulfillment and promote professional development
  • Increase, capture and transfer of institutional knowledge to support the industry in the face of a changing workforce
  • Enhance mutual respect between students/young professionals and experienced professionals, and a sense of community at the Section level, as well as the Association level
  • Promote a culture of generosity and open dialogue
  • Enhance the value experience for members

Mentoring Tips

Top 5 tips for mentoring

  1. Ensure a clear understanding of the purpose and parameters of the relationship
  2. Establish rules and boundaries
  3. Set goals
  4. Be prepared, open-minded and present for your meetings
  5. Make each session positive and fun!

What is a mentor?

A mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor who shares their knowledge and experience with another person, a mentee. Mentors provide invaluable guidance, expertise and experience through one-on-one mentoring relationships.
The mentor/mentee relationship is about companionship and mentors/mentees can learn from each other. This opportunity is about sharing experiences and insights together.

How are mentors selected?

The Mentoring Ad-Hoc Committee develops a pool of potential mentors from several sources:

  • Mentor/Mentee Application Forms
  • Nominations from the AWWA community
  • Mentoring Ad-Hoc Committee nominations

All Mentor Nomination Forms must be received by the AWWA Mentoring Ad-Hoc Committee no later than Friday, October 5th, 2018. The committee will invite appropriate individuals to join the pool of potential mentors. Mentors will be matched to mentees and notified about the outcome of the process in October.

How are mentors matched with mentees?

Members of the Mentoring Ad-Hoc Committee will evaluate goals, experiences, personalities, and interests. Every effort will be made to make the most successful pairings possible and every effort is made to match each applicant with a mentor; however, participation in the program may be limited by optimal group size and the number of mentors available. Applicants will be notified of the outcome in October 2018.

How often do the mentors and mentees meet?

Mentor-mentee pairs will determine the frequency and nature of their meetings throughout the year; however, mentors and mentees must be willing and able to devote time to make the mentoring relationship meaningful. The mentoring relationship typically runs from October 15 – May 31st.

During the kick-off meeting hosted through an AWWA webinar, a facilitator will discuss the mentoring agreement, which establishes the basic "rules of the road" (e.g. frequency of meetings, types of contact and confidentiality). It is recommended that pairs schedule their meetings for the entire mentoring period in their initial discussion, so that they can focus their energies on identifying and reaching their goals.

Ground Rules

1. Establish Level of Contact

a.How will you communicate? Will it be by phone, e-mail, video confernece or face-to-face?
b.What days/times work best?
c.How quickly will you be able to respond?

2. Ethics

As a mentor and or mentee, I agree to the following code:

i.I will not discriminate on the basis or race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age or handicap
ii.I will meet with my mentor/mentee regularly.
iii.I will listen to my mentor/mentee.
iv.I will not make promises that I cannot keep.
v.I will avoid any impropriety, or appearance of impropriety, in my relationship with my mentor/mentee.
vi.I will not engage in inappropriate personal relationships with my mentor/mentee.

3. Board Policy and member code of practice

a.Recognizing that it is a privilege to be a member of AWWA and of the Mentoring Program, as members of the Association, we adhere to the Board Policy and the Member Code of Practice. Please take time to review this with each other.


i.Any person who believes a violation of the Member Code of Practice or other misconduct has occurred should immediately make a report to the AWWA Director of Human Resources, Deputy Chief Executive Officer or any Presidential Officer. The Association prohibits retaliation against any employee, volunteer, member, or other person for making a complaint under this policy or for assisting in a complaint investigation.

Mentor/Mentee Mismatch or No-Fault Termination

Sometimes mentor/mentee pairings stop communicating with each other, which is not ideal, but it may happen. It might have been a mismatch or perhaps the mentor and/or mentee didn't or couldn't dedicate the time needed to build the relationship. If either the mentor or mentee needs to terminate the mentorship for any reason, they will agree to abide by one another's decision.

If termination happens, the mentor or the mentee can notify someone from the Mentoring Ad-Hoc Committee. Depending on the time of year that this is reported, and on the previous pool of mentors/mentees, the Mentoring Ad-Hoc Committee might have an opportunity to create a new pairing. This is not guaranteed, but we will do our best to help create and maintain a successful mentor/mentee pairing.

Effective Closure

The mentoring program concludes on May 31st each year. Please wrap up final and official mentor/mentee conversations on or before that date. This will allow the mentor to take a short break if they are interested in mentoring again in the fall and will allow the student to continue their personal and professional growth on their own.

If both mentor and mentee agree to communicate after the program concludes, determine those boundaries before May 31st, such as a follow-up email on an established goal or a notification of success on a goal accomplished.

The last mentor/mentee meeting should be a celebration! Share what you've learned from each other, the goals that you've accomplished. Celebrate your achievements and share your motivation to accomplish future goals.