How it works


About the program

In 2018, the UBC Internal Communications team piloted a mentoring program, which was open to all communicators at the university (across all its learning sites). The goal of the UBC Communicators Mentoring Program is to facilitate collaboration, share best practices, and aid career progression.

The success of the pilot led the team to commit to running the program annually.

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Program timing

The 2022 program was open for applications from July 19 until August 5.

As with the 2021 program, the 2022 cohort will meet virtually with an online kick-off session taking place over Zoom in early September. The program will then run from September 2022 to February 2023.

We plan to invite applications for the 2024 program in the spring. Keep a look out for updates through the UBC Communicators Network newsletter.

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Who can join

The program is available to any UBC staff or faculty member working in Communications who has either an ongoing appointment or is on a work-term of 12 months or more.

Communications includes a wide spectrum of roles—from media relations to internal communications, from graphic designers to researchers, from generalists to specialists. The communicators at UBC represent all of these roles and more, both from their current positions, their experience outside the university, and in their aspirations. It doesn’t matter what level job you’re in. This diverse mix of people and skills is what makes a mentor/mentee relationship valuable.

Zoom, Skype, telephone, and other technologies bring us together, so don’t worry about where you’re located. Regardless of your campus or learning site, we can make it work.

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Mentor or mentee?

When you apply, you’ll be asked which role you prefer:

  • Mentor – an experienced and trusted adviser
  • Mentee – a person who is advised, trained, or coached
  • Either/both – people find that they can be in either role at any part of their career

Communicators in the program have found that the learning moves in both directions and the formal roles often fade as people connect and share.

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How mentors and mentees are matched

The Internal Communications team reviews each submission and pairs mentors and mentees accordingly—based on skills, experience, and what they hope to get from the program.

Please note that as much as we would like to find a match for everyone who applies to the program, it is dependent on the number of applications we receive. If we are not able to successfully match you for this year’s intake, we will let you know via email.

The matching process will be at the discretion of the Internal Communications team. If you are uncomfortable with your ‘match’, you are welcome to raise this with the program lead, Kate Hunter.

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Your commitment to the program

During the program, each mentor/mentee pair is asked to:

  • Attend a virtual kick-off session of everyone paired in the program
  • Meet as a mentor-mentee team at least twice (you are free to meet more frequently if you wish)
  • Attend a virtual wrap-up session at the end of the formal program to share experiences and outcomes

We also ask for a commitment to engaging fully in the program:

  • Make an effort to be an active contributor
  • Maintain full confidentiality throughout the program–anything shared by participants must remain confidential (during the program and beyond)
  • Active listening and/or constructive feedback
  • Share knowledge, insights, and resources where possible
  • Bring a positive attitude to the conversations

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What happens after the program

All participants in the program are recognized with an official certificate of participation, suitable to share with your manager or for proud display in your workspace.

After your initial participation is complete, you can re-register at the next intake and make a new connection. You can of course also continue to meet with your first mentor/mentee outside the program.

You’ll also be invited to participate in informal gatherings where we’ll gather program alumni to re-connect and possibly participate in growing and improving the program.

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