Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Next Match Phase for the Mentor Program

Submitted by Emily Malouf and Kaylene Ready on behalf of the Mentor Program Sub-committee of NSGC’s Membership Committee

As the current Mentor Phase of the Mentor Program comes to a close, Megan Grove, a graduate student and mentee in the program, shares this about her experience:

“Participating in the mentor program has been a fantastic experience. Whether she was providing me with examples of personal genetic counseling experiences, lending advice or tips with regard to important milestones in training and beyond, or simply being someone I could talk to and debrief with; my mentor has been an incredible supporter and teacher. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this program, and have learned a lot in the process!”

Next month brings another opportunity for NSGC members to participate in a mentoring relationship:
The NSGC Membership Committee announces the next match phase for the Mentor Program begins in June 2011.

The program is designed to enhance networking opportunities for the NSGC’s members, for both students and practicing genetic counselors. Mentors can offer support, guidance, and insight while mentees can seek advice from peers, learn about a new specialty, and network professionally. Mentees can choose from a variety of selection criteria to find a mentor who best meets their needs and self-match to a mentor through an online matching website. Discussion topics are also provided on a monthly basis to facilitate continued communication.

While having a mentor through the Mentor Program is valuable for genetic counseling students and new graduates, it also has been a great resource for working genetic counselors wanting guidance in their current role, starting a new position, or considering a specialty change.

Mentors have also benefited from participating in a mentoring relationship. For busy counselors who are uncertain about the benefit of serving as a mentor, consider Holly Zimmerman’s experience:

“Being a mentor gives you the opportunity to reflect on your own career and experiences as well as the chance to renew your passion for the profession through the enthusiasm of someone new entering the field. I have thoroughly enjoyed mentoring a first year student and hearing her sincere excitement as she journeys through her training to become a genetic counselor."

If you are ready to get involved in the Mentor Program, mentor sign-up begins June 1, 2011 and mentee sign-up begins June 16, 2011! Mentors and mentees of all ages, years of experience and areas of specialty are needed to make the Program a success. The time commitment for participation can be as short as four months or as long as twelve months, and mentors and mentees will decide how often they will contact one another. Look for e-Blasts in June announcing enrollment periods.

To join the NSGC Mentor Program, please visit

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