The PAC Mentoring Program
In keeping with the Paris American Club’s mission to promote friendship between French and American citizens through social and cultural events, the club is offering a voluntary Mentoring Program for its members. Oriented towards personal, professional, and social development within a one-on-one relationship, it is an effective way to strengthen friendships and develop the best practices of French and American cultures, while at the same time, providing a unique benefit of club membership.
- The mentoring program provides advice, guidance, feedback, and support to assist one in personal and/or professional development through in-person meetings between a mentor and mentee over a six-month period.
- It requires a sincere motivation for both parties to remain open-minded facing challenges, share personal thoughts, and commit themselves to the program.
- Beyond typical work or educational mentoring, the PAC Mentoring Program includes exchanges between French and American languages and cultures in both the personal and professional realms.
Benefits of the PAC Mentoring Program
- Assist in résumé preparation and interviewing techniques and skills
- Gain insights into the French (deductive) vs. American (inductive) decision making process
- Compare management and decision making processes to gain insights into different organizational cultures
- Question one’s career path and adapt if needed
Social & Cultural Mentoring
- Develop best practices for introducing oneself, behaving in social settings and communicating (spoken, written and comportment) in a different culture
- Discuss misunderstandings in different contexts
- Benefit from a wide network of contacts
The Paris American Club’s members, who are approximately half American and half French, represent a wealth of life experiences across a broad range of industries and fields, per the chart below.
Your role as mentor:
- A mentor will challenge many aspects of the mentee’s life, including, but not limited to, career, relationships, goals, life plans, motivation, spirituality, and health.
- The main objectives of the mentor are to help develop the individual’s ideas, plans, capabilities, growth potential, judgement and, ultimately, wisdom.
- An important characteristic in a mentor is to listen and listen some more…
- Mentors need to help mentees structure “how to solve their issues” versus providing “what the solutions may be.”
- Mentors are expected to care about the person as a whole – not just as a member of the Paris American Club.
- Last but not the least, you need to give it your personal commitment, energy and enthusiasm to make it work.
Your role as mentee:
- Mentees need to feel comfortable talking about their personal issues with their mentor.
- A mentee should do his or her best to share as many details as possible about significant challenges, thinking, plans, and struggles.
- Mentees should be responsible for taking care of the organizational aspects of the relationship, e.g. setting up and confirming meetings, taking notes, etc.
- The mentee must commit to act on what was agreed upon with the mentor
- Upon a member’s interest in participating in the program, the Mentoring Committee reviews information about the prospective mentee and volunteer mentors to determine a good match.
- An introduction is sent to both parties, who will then set up a time and location to meet for their first encounter.
- It is understood that all information exchanged by both parties remains confidential.
Mentee information to share at first meeting:
- How long have you been living in New York or the New York area?
- Current position, firm and resume, career and personal goals.
- Expectations from the program, what would you like to learn from a mentor?
Follow-up and Evaluation
- At three-month point, a Mentoring Committee member will contact both mentor and mentee to see how they are progressing and offer suggestions for moving forward.
- At six-month completion period, mentor and mentee provide the Committee feedback on their experience.
PAC Mentoring Testimonial
Knowledge, guidance, coaching, sometimes you can learn the hard way, sometimes you just need a shortcut. When you feel stuck, or need extra help, a mentor may be the ideal person for your situation. I had the chance to receive very meaningful advices from friends and family, but I felt that having a freely committed mentor with no conflict of interest made an absolute difference in some major decisions and other milestones for my personal/professional life.
To have a successful experience, it is essential to find someone who is, first, willing to give time. But second, that is genuinely interested in helping out and ready to commit. This is very hard to find. Veronique has been here for easy moments and difficult moments. It is during the difficult moments that it changes everything. When you have a crossroad, and you have so many ideas, second opinions, fears, society talks, interrogations, confusions and start feeling emotional, all you need is someone that wants the best for you and see you succeeding with no conflict of interest.
Your parents might want you to become what THEY want you to become. At the Paris American Club, this is not what we do. Mentors are here because they are generously willing to help young and motivated people. And they also, themselves, get a return on experience that provide incentives on their own path. It is a two- way experience. It’s an exchange. Mentees receive guidance, and mentors have the opportunity to give but also learn by teaching. Veronique really gave me an immense help when it came to my career path.
I was debating between 2-3 very good options that would have a major impact on my career. My head was filled with doubts and was hardly battling every single option. I just would not let it go to make up my mind. I needed this extra-push to go forward. Veronique committed A LOT of time with me. The first 2-3 months, we were meeting 2 hours every week to first debrief my situation for her to completely understand my situation and give me primary advice. After that, she would start giving more tailored advice, very well-thought recommendations and 360° analysis of my situation according to my professional ambitions and personal expectations. It was crazy. Do not excuse my French, I am being serious when I underline her efforts, patience and commitment to my case. I really appreciate the impact she made on my path. At some point, she would spot when I was serious about my choices, or if I was being irrational or too emotional. She almost knew what I wanted better than myself. That’s what experience does I guess. But more than that, I have been lucky to have been assigned to Veronique has a mentor since she accepted to invest in me. I always ask advice to my elders and got lucky enough to have lots of them. But she really did show another level of commitment. Finding someone who barely knows you, that accepts to freely step into your life and give you guidance out of the blue, that’s priceless. That is who you find at the Paris American Club.
Thank you again Veronique for everything you helped me to accomplish. You are definitely part of the success in my choices, and your name will come out when I’ll hold that trophy in my hand.
Adviser – Management Consulting – Customer Operations