Mentor Benefits

Volunteering to serve as a mentor in the CIRES mentoring program is an excellent opportunity for CIRES and NOAA Federal employees of all career stages to improve their supervisory skills, to expand their network by connecting with other CIRES employees, and grow professionally.


Mentees and mentors are expected to meet regularly with a minimum of once a month for one hour. While we recognize that these interactions are better suited to in person meetings, Due to the hybrid nature of our workplace, we anticipate that monthly meetings between mentors and mentees may take place virtually or in person, based on each member’s preferred venue. We expect all participants to respect each other’s choices.

Each mentor-mentee pair will be provided with a Connection Plan, which is a set of adaptive resources and discussion prompts to help you identify and accomplish professional goals. It is up to both the mentor and the mentee to decide whether or not they wish to continue communicating after the 8-month mentoring period is over.

Mentor-Mentee Pairing

Mentors will complete a quick application form that will build a profile of their interests in the program and will be asked to rank areas in which they can offer perspective. The program will endeavor to match, where possible, mentors with mentees who have expressed a wish to grow in these areas. Mentees will be able to review and select their preferred mentor based on the mentor’s online profile. Mentors are asked to accept or decline the mentoring request within 72 hours.


Each mentor pair will be paired for 8-months, from Oct-May. Program outcomes are best reached with consistent and regular check-ins. Mentors are asked to meet with their mentee monthly for approximately 60 minutes. It is expected that mentees will reach out to their mentor to schedule an initial meeting within one week of pairing. At the first meeting participants will discuss a mentoring agreement which formalizes expectations and goals for both parties. After the first meeting the mentor and mentee should establish a regular schedule to meet and discuss progress.

Mentor Do's
  • Set aside time for the mentoring process, honor all appointments where possible, and provide sufficient notice if you need to make adjustments.
  • Establish open and honest communication and a forum for idea exchange.
  • Foster creativity and independence. Help your mentee build self-confidence and offer encouragement.
  • Provide opportunities for the mentee to talk about concerns and ask questions.
  • Be conscious of the extent to which it is appropriate to share your personal history, problems, animosities, successes, failures; aim for constructive contributions.
  • Try to be mentally present at all meetings.
  • Above all, listen.
Mentor Don'ts
  • Try to give advice on everything. You don’t need to have the answers to all your mentees' questions. Your job is to answer the questions that you can and to connect your mentee to resources if there is a question you cannot answer.
  • Encourage mentee to be totally dependent upon you.
  • Criticize.