AICP Candidate Pilot Program Mentoring Resources

The AICP Candidate Pilot Program offers mentoring as an optional benefit for program participants.

Information about mentoring and tips for making the most of this opportunity — for both mentor and mentee — are available below.

To begin your mentoring relationship, start by completing a profile here.

We’ve handpicked a few of our career development resources for mentors and mentees here. Be sure to check out additional resources in the Career Center.

Mentee Resources

Before Meeting With Your Mentor

Review biographical information on your mentor.

Get in touch with your mentor to introduce yourself and propose a time for a phone call.

On the call introduce yourself and get to know your mentor.

Discuss how you will meet, and the frequency and length of time you will meet.

Consider your schedule and obligations.

Commit to keeping schedule changes to a minimum.

Discuss how to best cancel or reschedule a meeting.

Identify your goals.

Prepare for each interaction with an agenda in mind; topics of conversation, objectives, visions, and dreams.

What skills or knowledge do you hope to gain? Are you looking to expand your professional network? Do you need clarity on the direction of your studies? Are you looking for help solving a problem? Do you need help finding a job?

During the Meeting With Your Mentor

Be on time with commitments.

Be fully prepared each meeting with your mentor.

Be an active listener and good observer.

Find a common ground with your mentor.

Be open to learning new skills, attitudes, and behaviors.

Establish and maintain confidentiality with your mentor.

Be respectful of your mentor's time and show appreciation for his or her feedback.

Take responsibility for your own growth and success.

After You've Met With Your Mentor

Reflect what you are learning about the planning profession.

Plan for closure.

Celebrate accomplishments.

Show appreciation for your mentor's feedback.

Get involved at APA, learn more about volunteer opportunities.

Mentor Resources

Before Meeting With Your Mentee

Review biographical information on your mentee.

Respond to introduction email, the mentee has been instructed to set the first meeting.

Determine whether there is alignment with the participant's desired goals and your skill set.

Discuss how you will meet, frequency and length of time you will meet.

Consider your schedule and obligations.

Commit to keeping schedule changes to a minimum.

Discuss how to best cancel or reschedule a meeting.

Consider your mentoring style.

Mentoring can take many forms, from problem-solving to friendship. Find one that suits your personality and supports your mentee. It's all about the individual's professional development.

Educational and Career Advice Mentoring*

Strategies for making decisions about schools, finding a planning specialty, landing a job, making career choices, goal setting, skill development, etc.

Mentoring by Doing*

Similar to an apprenticeship or job shadowing. Networking is part of this.

Life Coach Mentoring*

More holistic and personal. Focused on developing self-knowledge through reflection.

* From Richard Willson's book, A Guide for the Idealist: How to Launch and Navigate Your Planning Career. The book includes perspectives, tools, advice, and personal anecdotes. It is available now at Routledge, Amazon, and most retailers.

During the Meeting With Your Mentee

Listen carefully to find a common ground where you can be helpful.

Be on time with commitments.

Be an active listener and good observer.

Help identify areas for growth.

Make introductions.

Provide constructive feedback and recognize accomplishments.

Be a role model of professional behavior.

Encourage and support yet challenge mentee to set higher performance goals.

After You've Met With Your Mentee

Take time to reflect on what you are learning about yourself.

Take time to reflect if you've learned something new about the planning profession.

Plan for closure.

Celebrate accomplishments.

Check in with your mentee.

Launching Your Planning Career: A Guide for Idealists

Richard Willson, FAICP, draws on his years of experience in the classroom, as a researcher, and as a mentor to young planners in the blog series A Guide for Idealists. His insights provide processes for making choices in the career "launching" phase — addressing decision making, doubt, types of work, and work settings.

This blog series is amplified in Richard Willson's book, A Guide for the Idealist: How to Launch and Navigate Your Planning Career. The book includes perspectives, tools, advice, and personal anecdotes. Available now.

APA member and recent graduate Matthew Nahrstedt, an environmental planner, and designer shares his experience on making the most of a mentor relationship and how mentoring led to a job offer.

Career Development Blog Posts

Other Mentoring Resources

Chapter Mentoring Programs