Students are selected to participate through a rigorous competitive application process. Over the course of the academic year they work one on one with their mentors who introduce them to the diverse ways that architects engage the wider world. Though personally and professionally enriching, these encounters can also be challenging as our students confront myriad workplace realities, through the eyes of their mentors.
Regardless of occupation, mentors donate their time and expertise because they are interested in the extra-curricular education and professional development of talented young adults. The students contact their mentors on a regular basis to arrange meetings at mutually convenient times. Mentors are also welcome to contact their students as often as they wish. Monthly meetings are suggested, but all mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet at least six times between September and May.
The mentor and mentee determine how they will spend time together. The primary purpose of meetings is to enable the mentees to observe the mentors in action - in the various settings in which they work and engage in the tasks that occupy their days and evenings. This can include not only professional obligations, but civic and philanthropic activities as well.
Mentors are introduced to their mentees at an evening reception held at the College in early September, at the start of the academic year. Following this kick-off reception, the students meet as a group throughout the year to discuss their individual experiences. Meetings include professional development workshops that are intended to prepare each participating student for the excitement and challenges of developing a mentor relationship. Students may discuss the value of mentoring, the realities of the job market, and other related topics including resume and correspondence preparation, professional wardrobe development, and interviewing skills.
In the spring, each participating student receives a certificate of completion at the COAD Annual Awards Ceremony.