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Mentoring Program FAQ's

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Important Dates 2022  

Program Length: 6 Months

24 January: Mentoring applications open 

25 February: Mentoring applications close

3 March: Compulsory "pre-mentoring" webinar for mentees

14-25 March: Mentee interview period

4 April: Official Mentoring welcome webinar 

3 October: Mentoring Wrap up webinar  

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Why join the program?

Mentoring provides an opportunity for student and graduate members to learn from more established Institute members. It is also a way for older members to “give back” to the industry in a practical manner. Being in a mentoring pair provides a platform to showcase the scope and diversity of roles within the sector to emerging food science professionals.

Established programs in other sectors have also indicated that participating in a mentoring program can improve “employability soft skills”, can improve the self-confidence of participants and assist in building a professional network. From an organisational perspective, companies that are involved with mentoring programs can benefit from a social investment perspective and better employee engagement.

What does being in the program mean for a Mentee?

Being a part of the program for 2022 will mean that you get the chance to connect with a mentor or mentee over a six month period, running from April to October, where you will work closely together to develop your professional skills and achieve your goals. How frequently you meet up can be determined together; the Institute suggests at least once a month. There will also be check-in sessions with the other mentees involved in the program. This will be a chance for you to get to hear from others in the program and share challenges and successes. The check-in sessions will be available via our online meeting platform for those who will not be able to make it in person. It is important to note that the program is designed to help you develop professional, employable and social skills. The program is not intended to teach technical skills, be used for job hunting or recruitment, to help with personal problems or to provide cheap labour.

What does being in the program mean for a Mentor?

As a Mentor, you will be sharing your insight and experience to help your Mentee develop key professional skills. Previous Mentors have expressed that they have found they often get just as much out of it as their mentees. By taking the time to help guide a Mentee, Mentors can expect a sense of satisfaction and pride at the chance to help shape the next generation of food industry professionals. They can also develop their own skills in leadership and confidence.

Pairing Process

The AIFST value the contribution of our mentors to this program. The opportunity they provide for our younger members is invaluable. The process of matching mentors with mentees is one we take very seriously to ensure that the program provides value to both the mentor and mentee. We have made some changes to the way this process is approached for the 2022 program. If you are interested in applying for the 2022 program, please consider the following requirements carefully and don’t hesitate to contact AIFST if you have any questions. Mentees for the 2022 AIFST mentoring program, will only be accepted if you attend the compulsory “Pre- mentoring” webinar hosted by AIFST. It is very important that you attend this webinar to ensure you understand the commitment you are making in signing up to the program. Interested mentees will then need to complete the 2022 mentee application form which includes your interests within the food industry – it is important to think about these areas carefully to help us make the best possible match. Please understand when signing up to the program - there is no guarantee you will be paired with a mentor from the same state or with all of your areas of interest or expertise. Once you have completed and emailed in your application form, you will be assigned an interview timelot which you must attend. During this interview, you will be asked questions by a panel of mentors to assess your dedication to the program and to gain further insights into your interests. The mentor panel will then work with the AIFST team to place you with the mentor they believe fits you best. Please remember - all of our mentors have extensive experience in the food industry and are willing to give up their time to work with our mentees and have a rich background to offer.

How can I take part?

Applications for the 2022 AIFST Mentoring Program will open in January to current AIFST members and will close at the end of February. You must remain a member for the duration of the program to be accepted. Please complete the application form and email it back to us. If you have already been a mentee in our mentoring program in a previous year you are welcome to re-apply but places are limited and will first be given to those who have not yet participated to give all students a fair chance of being involved in this initiative.

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