Online Mentoring Orientation
A PowerPoint presentation outlining the complete mentoring process

Welcome to the first issue of the Mentor Advisor, a periodic e-newsletter designed to support the AACE International mentoring program.  The publication is designed to provide insight and techniques to mentors, partner/protégés and others interested in learning more about the self-guided mentoring process that AACE International is using.  

A Refresher on the Concept of Self-Guided Mentoring:

AACE International has chosen to use a "self-guided" mentoring approach.  Before structuring the program, we looked at several options but concluded that the current trend among professional associations is to use the self-guided model because it lends itself more to a cross-company mentoring environment.  In his article, "Find a Fit or Make it Work:  Critical Attributes of the Mentor-Protégé  Relationship," Barry Sweeny remarks that  "some believe that mentors and partners should be carefully matched to each other by personality type, learning style, or some other such method by a third party. Evidence now suggests that this approach may lead to "smooth mentoring" relationships and a great friendship, but that it also reduces the extent of learning between mentor and partner and their productivity."

Sweeny continues by observing that "the diversity within a mentor-partner relationship should be understood as strengths on which the team can draw, that the differences should be affirmed as they create learning opportunities which do not exist when two people think in similar ways."

Using the self-guided model, AACE International uses a system by Boxwood Technologies to allow partners or protégés to review available mentors who have signed up for the mentoring program.  Individuals seeking a mentor may browse among all the members listed or sort by criteria such as certifications earned, area of expertise, experience, professional interests and time available to devote for mentoring.  Under the self-guided approach, it is the responsibility of the partner/protégé to ask a mentor to accept a mentoring engagement.   This selection resource is available online at  AACE International currently has almost 100 mentors who have volunteered to participate in the program. 

Once an invitation has been extended to a mentor, the mentor has the option of accepting or declining the offer.  If the offer is accepted, the mentor and partner/protégé should complete the Mentoring Agreement that appears on page nine in the AACE International Mentoring Handbook. 
Go here to review the handbook online.

The agreement helps frame the expectations that the mentor and partner/protégé expect from one another.  Research indicates that one of the most significant factors in unsuccessful mentoring efforts is a lack of clear expectations of the outcomes.  Completing this process together is an important step in managing expectations and defining the respective roles. 

Look for Mentoring Article in October of Cost Engineering journal: To support the AACE Mentoring Program, AACE has entered into an agreement with Dr. Matt Starcevitch of the Center for Coaching & Mentoring.   In addition to providing the core material for the AACE International Mentoring Handbook, Dr. Starcevitch will be contributing articles to the Cost Engineering journal on mentoring topics.  His first article is in the October issue of the journal and will features his thought-provoking observations on what mentors and partners can learn from the training of guide dogs for the blind. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Mentoring Program:

Question:  I signed up as a partner/protégé on the website but no one has contacted me.  What's wrong?

Answer:   Registering as partner/protégé is the first step in the self-guided mentoring process.  Once you have signed up online, it is your responsibility to select possible mentors from the pool of approved mentors.  AACE International will not assign you a mentor, you must select the mentor yourself and ask if he or she would be willing to accept a mentoring engagement.  Both parties, the mentor and the partner/protégé must be willing participants for a successful mentoring relationship.  If you have additional questions regarding the mentor selection process, contact Dennis Stork, Executive Director, at

Question:  I accepted a mentoring engagement with a partner/protégé and it is proceeding well.  However, the system says that the engagement is over and we still want to continue.  What can we do?   

Answer:   When the partner/protégé requests an initial engagement, it includes the length of time for the mentoring engagement.  Currently, that option is expressed in number of weeks.  If the partner/protégé had requested a four week engagement, the system will show it has having ended.  AACE International has requested that the software provider, Boxwood Technology, offer an option for us to over-ride the system and that is under consideration.  In the interim, you and your partner/protégé have two options: 1) your protégé can simply extend another invitation to you for another engagement or 2) you can continue your mentoring relationship without changing the system.  In the second option, the most significant impact is that you as a mentor may then be showing us on the system as available to other mentoring engagements.  If you want to only have the current mentoring relationships, you can go into your mentor record online and change your availability status in your profile.  As mentor, you can control the number of partners you will mentor at any time and when you would be available.  For example, if you wanted to keep your existing mentoring relationship for three more months before being available for consideration, you could change your profile availability to show you are not available until after three months.  

New Discussion Forum for Mentoring:  To provide a venue for mentors and partner/protégés to share ideas and techniques about the mentoring process, AACE International has created a special discussion forum on our website.  To review the discussion forum or make a comment, go here.  (Login required.)

Partner/Protégé Eligible for Discount If Attending Their First Annual Meeting: Partners in a current mentoring relationship and attending their first annual meeting will be allowed to register at a 50% discount,  providing their AACE International mentor is also attending as a regular registrant.  Additional details will be announced when registration opens for the 2012 Annual Meeting.   This applies only to those mentors and partner/protégés that are part of the official AACE International mentoring program, not informal or company-sponsored mentoring programs.  

Mentoring Advisory Committee: The Mentoring Advisory Committee (MAC) was created to provide oversight of the AACE International Mentoring Program and to promote participation and support of the mentoring concept within the Association. The current AACE Mentoring Program evolved from a joint pilot program conducted by the Diversity Task Force, Women in Project Controls Committee and the Young Professionals Committee in 2010. Building upon the initial success of that pilot, the AACE Mentoring Program employs a self-guided model that has gained wide acceptance among professional associations sponsoring mentoring programs. The Mentoring Advisory Committee sets the requirements for mentors and makes recommendations regarding the administration and promotion of the mentoring program.

If you have suggestions on how to make the mentoring program more effective, please contact Mr. Logan Anjaneyulu, CCE CEP PSP, Chair: