Mentors are a vital part of Northwest Arkansas SCORE’s success in helping small business owners realize success. Once people learn the benefits of becoming a volunteer mentor, they often have questions about the process.
These questions are the most common questions we receive from people interested in becoming a volunteer mentor:
How much time does it take?
In general, we ask mentors to dedicate at least 10 hours per month. Obviously, you can put in as much time as you feel comfortable giving. Each mentoring relationship will be different, based on what the client needs. You will be assigned clients based on your expertise as well as schedule. You are able to determine how much time you are available to spend volunteering as a mentor.
What if I my schedule or availability changes?
If your schedule or overall availability changes, simply let the leadership team aware of the change. Once you are certified as SCORE mentor you never lose that certification, allowing you to return as a volunteer mentor when you’re available again.
What kind of training will I need?
The first step is skills assessment. Each new volunteer must complete the Areas of Expertise and Skills Self-Assessment Forms to document their experience and skills that they bring to SCORE. This information is extremely useful in helping to establish and maintain a diverse portfolio of mentors with many areas of expertise. In addition, it helps to match mentors to clients with specific needs.
The next step is to finish several short tutorials about SCORE, our mentoring philosophy and process, and ethics. They are available online and are self-paced.
Once those forms and online tutorials are completed, we will assign a training mentor. Your training mentor will discuss the face-to-face mentoring process with you in detail, and will make arrangements for you to observe and participate in actual mentoring sessions. Initially, you will participate as an observer, then as a co-mentor, and finally as a lead mentor. As part of your orientation, you are expected to participate in a minimum of three mentoring sessions as a co-mentor, and two mentoring sessions as the lead mentor.
Where do I do this mentoring?
While the NWA SCORE office is in Springdale and serves all of Northwest Arkansas and the surrounding area very few counselors actually use it on a regular basis. Of course, the office is available during regular business hours for your use.. Many mentoring sessions take place at coffee shops or at the client’s place of business. Any location that is deemed safe and convenient for both the mentor and client is acceptable.
What other questions do you have about becoming a volunteer mentor with NWA SCORE?