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Frequently Asked Questions


What are the responsibilities of a Mentee?

Mentees should be responsible for guiding the progression of the relationship. Mentees should identify what they hope to gain from the relationship and share those expectations with their mentor. Mentees should be respectful of time and understand that a mentor may be unavailable from time to time. Mentees are responsible for staying professional and courteous and will maintain the confidentiality of the internal operations of the mentor's organization (for example, if they are invited to attend an internal department meeting to observe policy-making in action).

What are the potential benefits of the Mentorship Program for CFA Society Chicago?

Mentoring benefits the organization, mentors and mentees. A successful mentoring program benefits CFA Society Chicago by:

- Enhancing strategic business initiatives

- Encouraging membership recruitment and retention

- Enhancing professional development

- Linking members with valuable knowledge and information to other members in need of such information

- Using fellow members, instead of outside consultants, as internal experts to offer professional guidance to membership

- Creating a culture which continuously promotes individual member growth and development

What are the potential benefits of the Mentorship Program for Mentors?

- Gains insights from the mentee’s background and history that can be used in the mentor’s professional and personal development

- Gains satisfaction in sharing expertise with others

- Reenergizes the mentor’s career

- Gains an ally in promoting the organization’s well-being

What are the potential benefits of mentoring for Mentees?

- Leverage the mentor’s experience, expertise and network as resources

- Receives critical feedback

- Develops a sharper focus on what is needed to grow personally and professionally

- Learns specific skills and knowledge that are relevant to their goals and aspirations

- Networks with a more influential member

- Has a friendly ear with which to share frustrations as well as successes

Who can participate in the Mentorship program?

All CFA Society Chicago members are eligible to participate.

How much time does the Mentorship program take?

The Mentorship program is scheduled over the course of six months with two CFA Society Chicago Facilitated meetings and four independent meetings to be conducted during that time. Although there is no set duration or timing of the independent meetings, it is suggested that a 1-2 hour meeting be scheduled monthly and that the Mentor and Mentee discuss the need for any other “check-in” meetings or phone calls during the course of the Program. Additionally, although it is not required, it is highly recommended that the Mentor and Mentee attend a non-Mentorship program related event together during the 6-month program.

How are Mentors and Mentees matched?

Mentees’ applications and Mentors’ profiles are reviewed and pairs will be matched based on industry, experience, interests and location.

Does the Mentorship program lead to a job or an internship?

The Mentorship program involves no promise of future employment. However, this program vigorously promotes professional networking, and many opportunities arise naturally from these connections. That being said, Mentees should not enter the program solely for the purpose of finding a job. Mentees should not pressure their Mentors to inquire about open positions or pressure their Mentors to circulate resumes within their professional network.

Do I need to apply to be a Mentor?

No, but we do ask that you complete the Mentor questionnaire so that we can build your Mentor profile. If you are interested in serving as a Mentor, please contact Nicole Harris, CAE, Director, Member Relations and Outreach, and she will provide you with a copy of the Mentor Profile Questionnaire to complete.

Do I need to apply to be a Mentee?

Yes, all Mentee’s are required to submit an application to be considered for the Mentorship program given that there are only a limited number of spots available per program cycle. Please see a copy of the Mentee application below and submit your completed application directly to Nicole Harris.

Who do I contact with questions about this program?

You can contact Nicole Harris, CAE, Director, Member Relations and Outreach, by email at mentorprogram@cfachicago.org or by telephone at (312) 251-1301.

Suggested Meeting Schedule and Topics

Please note that each Mentor-Mentee pair will be responsible for developing their own meeting schedule for the 5 meetings between the Introduction/Mixer and Program Conclusion meeting. The following meeting topics are only suggestions. If you identify other topics that work well for you and feel would be valuable to others, please share them with mentorprogram@cfachicago.org. We recommend that you try to have at least 4 of the 6 meetings in person. Additionally, we suggest that the Mentor and Mentee attend a non-Mentorship Program CFA Society Chicago event together. This will be an opportunity for you to network together and provide subject matter (event topic) for you to recap and discuss at a following mentoring meeting.


Meeting #1: Introductions and Scheduling

- Discuss both of your career and educational backgrounds

- Discuss your goals and objectives for the mentoring program

 Discuss what you both envision for the mentoring relationship

 Decide on the best forms of communication for scheduling future meetings and staying in touch (e.g. telephone, e-mail)

Meeting #2: Professional Growth

Continue the introductions and share your interests (professional and personal)

Discuss 5-10 year goals and aspirations

Discuss skills and on-going professional training that may be helpful to achieve these goals.

Define and discuss “Success” and what it means to be “Successful”

Meeting #3: Work/life balance

Discuss the challenges in achieving work/life balance

Create a plan for you to pursue professional success without sacrificing your personal/family life

Meeting #4: Leadership/Team Work

Discuss the importance of leadership and teamwork as it relates to success

What challenges do you each face in being part of a team?

What traits make a good leader?

How can you improve your leadership skills?

Meeting #5: Upcoming Professional Challenges

Discuss issues faced over the course of this year and any you see on the horizon

Discuss lessons that you each have learned from challenges met

Discuss other topics not previously covered that you wish to share with each other

Meeting #6: Program Conclusion & Tips for the Future (CFA Society Facilitated Event) – Date TBD

1st Half:

 CFA Society Staff to host open forum for feedback and suggestions from participants

 CFA Society Staff to provide tips for continuing a successful mentoring relationship outside of the program and share available resources

2nd Half:

 Evaluate your mentoring partnership

 Discuss what works and doesn’t work in your mentoring relationship

 Create a basic outline of how you will continue the relationship