National Mentoring Program Goals

The CWRA National Mentorship Program is intended to provide value to newer members of the CWRA, increase professional engagement in water management activities and in CWRA activities, and build long term connections among members of CWRA. The program allows for the transfer of information among generations of professionals in water resources.

This program is virtual and is geared toward participants across Canada. As CWRA develops locally-based mentoring programs, interested mentees and mentors from those areas will be encouraged to participate in their local programs.

Mentorship Program Structure

In 2023-2024, CWRA will run two mentoring sessions. Prospective participants may apply to one or both. The Fall 2023 session took place from October to December 2023. Applications are open now for only the Winter 2024 Session.

Mentees at any stage of their career development (early undergrad, job searching, career development during employment) are welcome to apply. Newcomers to Canada with international experience in water resources fields who are looking for work in water in Canada are encouraged to apply. While the discussion at the group meetings will be held in English, we will do our best to match French-speaking mentees with French-speaking mentors.

The Winter 2024 session will run from February – April 2024. Applications will be due by February 2, 2024. Accepted applicants will be notified by February 13, 2024. This session will include two 2-hour group meetings (late February, early April). The focus of this mentoring session will be determined based on the accepted participants.

For both sessions, group meeting activities will include speed mentoring, resume review and feedback, and discussion periods. In between meetings, mentees will be connected with a mentor for a virtual 60-minute mentoring discussion. This mentoring program emphasizes building connections among all participants. The group meetings will support the development of a broad network for mentees that includes experienced mentors and their peer cohort.

Participation will be limited to 15 mentees per session. If more than 15 mentees apply, smaller groups may be formed focusing on mentees seeking similar types of mentoring or for those who have similar scheduling needs. Alternatively, applicants may be placed on a waiting list for the next National Mentoring session.

Because of the national reach of this program, the varied time demands on both mentors and mentees, and variations in time zone, meetings will be held on selected weekend mornings (for most participants). We have found that this time works best for most participants, but we understand that it will not work for everyone. Please get in touch if that is the case. Applicants who cannot attend the scheduled meeting times may be placed on a waiting list for the next National Mentoring session. National Staff will work with all applicants on the waiting list to see if any mentoring connections can be made before the next session begins.

Program participants will be encouraged to meet with members of the mentoring network outside group meetings, and to participate in the SYP and National CWRA Slack channels. All participants will be encouraged to attend CWRA and other water-related events.

After the final meeting, participants will be surveyed about their experiences in the program and ideas for improvement will be incorporated in the next mentoring session. We have updated the format of the program this year, in part based on survey responses from our previous Mentoring Program sessions.

Participant Expectations

All mentors and mentees participating in the National Mentoring Program must be members of CWRA.

Mentees are expected to respond to emails (that require a response) in a timely manner, to attend all group meetings, to draft a resume and cover letter if they do not already have one, to fill out the feedback survey, to be proactive in communicating their mentoring needs to program coordinators, and to be proactive in scheduling meetings with mentors.

Mentors are expected to attend at least the first group meeting, to work with mentees assigned to them to schedule individual mentoring sessions in between meetings, to communicate any scheduling limitations to mentees and program coordinators, and to fill out the feedback survey.

Group meetings will all be held online. All participants need to have access to a reliable internet connection.

Program documents will be shared through Google Drives. Participants will be expected to be able to access Google Drive (program coordinators will help enable access and work with anyone having trouble gaining access).

All participants in the mentoring program must comply with the CWRA Code of Ethics and Anti-Harrassment Policy.

Application Deadline

Applications are currently closed for the Winter 2024 Program.