Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can the Mentor Program help me?
  • As a Mentee: Expand your professional network; get advice for your career/job search; learn about a new specialty; connect with a peer/future colleague; develop a new friendship
    • As a student:  Receive advice and guidance from an experienced counselor outside of your program on a wide range of topics from classes, to your thesis project, to your job search.
    • As a new genetic counselor: Utilize the knowledge of someone with a job in the city or position in which you hope to work; discuss difficult cases, bosses, or co-workers; get advice on studying for the Boards.
    • As a genetic counselor interested in a specialty change: Find out more about a different focus within the field; get advice on how to transition from your current position to a different role.
    • As a working genetic counselor: Network with other genetic counselors in the same region or specialty; learn about new patient and professional resources; discuss new ideas and perspectives in the field.
  • As a Mentor: Expand your professional network; offer support, guidance, and insight; share your wisdom; lead by example; develop a new friendship
Q: How does the NSGC Mentor Program work?

The NSGC Mentor Program is designed to allow participants to select a mentor of their choosing by using the Mentor Program website. Any NSGC member can register at any time.  There are two phases of the Mentor Program: the Match Phase and the Mentor Phase.

  • Match Phase (mentees find a mentor)
    • Occurs during the months of May & November.
    • During these months, we encourage new mentees to join the program (Registration).
    • We also encourage new/existing mentees to find/connect with a mentor (Match Phase). 
  • Mentor Phase (matched mentee/mentor pairs converse via email/phone)
    • Follows the Match Phase and lasts for five months
      • June through October 
      • December through April
    • Suggested discussion topics are sent monthly via email 
  • Please note that mentees and mentors can enroll and be matched outside the official Match Phase, but the length of the Mentor Phase will be less than 5 months.
Q: How do I sign up?
  • Mentors can join the Mentor Program at any time.
  • We invite mentees to join the program during the one month registration periods, which occur in May and November.  
    • There will be a call for participants via NSGC’s Dates & Deadlines and social media.
    • We also invite new and existing mentees to find a mentor during this time (Match Phase).
  • Refer to the Instructions page for more information on the sign-up process.

Q: What is the time commitment for this program?
  • The length of this relationship will be five months.  If both the mentor and mentee agree, this relationship can be extended or rolled over for a second five month period.
  • You and your mentor/mentee choose how often to communicate.  The expectation is that you will communicate often.  We have designed discussion topics that will be emailed to you on a monthly basis.
Q: How am I matched?
  • Mentees select a mentor based on the information from their profile.  This can include educational and professional background, areas of specialty, and/or years of service.  If you cannot find a mentor, we encourage you to broaden your search criteria!
  • An email will be sent to the mentor.  The mentor will approve or deny the request on the website.  A follow up email will be automatically sent to the mentee answering the request.
  • Remember: a mentor can only accept one mentee request, so if a mentee receives a denial from a mentor, it’s often because that mentor is already matched.  The mentee should definitely keep looking and try another mentor!
Q: How many mentors/mentees relationships can I have?
  • Mentees can select a maximum of one mentor.  Mentors can approve one mentee.
  • You can be both a mentor and mentee in the same round.
Q: What if I have not heard back from the Mentor I requested?
  • Contact program administrators by sending an email through the "Contact Us" link at the top of this page.
  • The program administrators will discuss your options (contact the requested Mentor again, find another possible Mentor, etc.) and help you move forward in the way that maximizes your mentoring experience.
Q: Is everyone matched with a mentoring partner?
  • Depending on the number of mentors, the pool of available mentors and interested mentees may not always match perfectly. If you are not able to get an appropriate match, your profile will still remain online and you may participate in the next Match Phase.
  • Don't get discouraged if you are a mentor but did not receive a request by a mentee to match in the last Match Phase.  Having a large pool of strong candidate mentors from which potential mentees can choose helps to ensure that mentees are able to pick the best mentor to meet their needs and contributes to the overall success of the program.
Q: How do we exchange communication?
  • The mentoring relationship begins immediately with communication in the method that you have agreed to with your mentor/mentee.
  • It is helpful for both the mentor and mentee to choose goals and/or identify topics that you will discuss in the future. 
Q: What does NSGC do to support the mentoring relationship?
  • Discussion topics will be emailed to matched pairs each month to encourage and advance the conversation between mentors and mentees.
  • There are helpful links and resources on the matching website to assist mentors and mentees with their relationship.
  • You will receive one or more short surveys from NSGC at the end of your mentoring relationship as part of our ongoing effort to improve our program. The surveys are voluntary and we protect the privacy and anonymity of your responses.
  • If you encounter any problem or obstacles, for instance, a non-responsive partner, we will help you troubleshoot and try to resolve the issue. Please contact program administrators by sending an email through the "Contact Us" link at the top of this page. 
Q: I've signed up, but I can no longer commit to be a mentor. What should I do?
  • If you find that you cannot commit to being a mentor or mentee, please contact the program adminstrators ("Contact Us" link at top of this page).  We want to make sure to remove your name from the list of available mentors.  Your account will remain active, but your mentor profile will be removed from the website. We encourage you to sign up on the Mentorship Program website if you are able to participate again in the future!