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Staff Mentorship at UC Berkeley

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The Berkeley Staff Assembly (BSA) Career Development Committee’s mentorship program is one of the longest-running in the UC system. Since 2004, more than 800 staff have participated.

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After colleagues nominate mentors through a campus-wide process, the BSA sponsors a meeting and networking event for mentors and mentees. Mentees schedule at least three informational interviews with potential mentors, after which all participants submit match preferences. The BSA finalizes the pairings, then mentors and mentees develop individual formal contracts for their nine-month partnership, including a meeting schedule and terms.

The program provides participants with many resources to maximize the effectiveness of the mentorship, including presentations on informational interviewing, developing “elevator pitches” and drafting résumés. Due to the program’s high demand, mentees can only participate once; however, many join the all-volunteer Career Development Committee to support future participants.

“The mentorship program has been hands down one of the best things I have experienced since joining Cal,” effused one mentee. “It has boosted my confidence, allowed me to ask questions to an expert who cares about my professional development, and made me feel good about my work. I recommend the program to anyone I can!”

Associate Vice Chancellor for IT and CIO Larry Conrad is among the esteemed mentors who have served in the program. “I benefited greatly from a pair of mentorships earlier in my career, so the Berkeley Mentorship program is a chance for me to ‘pay-it-forward,’” he said. “It’s also a way to help develop promising talent in the organization and underscore to my management team that this is indeed an important part of their responsibilities as well.”


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