NAPA Mentor Program

NAPA’s Mentor Program provides information on anthropology careers, and tries to match students, new professionals, and mid-level and senior career changers with professional anthropologists for an ongoing professional relationship.

A mentorship can:

  • Provide one-on-one guidance in defining your career goals
  • Help you to customize your resume for your specialty area
  • Help you to develop a professional network

The Mentor Program is open to individuals of any age and status, regardless of previous experience in any professional or academic setting. When matched, mentors and mentees are expected to keep in regular contact for at least one year. The frequency and methods of contact can be established by both sides, but email and telephone calls should be supplemented by at least one in-person meeting. This will typically take place at an annual meeting, but is not a precursor to contacts getting underway.

Discussions between mentors and mentees can include the following:

  • General information on careers in anthropology
  • Guidelines for selecting a graduate program in applied anthropology
  • Recommendations on how to prepare yourself for a career as a professional anthropologist
  • Recommended readings
Who is Who?
NAPA mentors are professionals who work in a number of settings, and have been oriented to the program. Select this link if you are a professional who is interested in serving as a mentor.
Mentees are recent anthropology graduates or current students interested in careers as practicing anthropologists.  Anyone who wants a realistic appraisal of work outside academia and personalized career assistance may apply to the NAPA Mentor Program.  Applicants ideally have some post-bachelors education in anthropology and should be committed to the mentoring relationship. Preference in matching mentees is given to  members of either NAPA or NASA (National Association of Student Anthropologists).
*At the end of the mentoring term, both mentors and mentees are expected to complete an evaluation form in order to help refine the Mentor Program.

Mentoring Agreement
To ensure that both participants are clear on the expectations and timelines for mentoring, an agreement will be discussed and signed by both mentor and mentee at the start of the process. You can review the mentor-mentee agreement form (RTF format) to better understand the expectations of the mentoring relationship.

NAPA can assist anthropology students or new professionals with career goals and guidance. Those seeking a mentor, as well as those who are interesting in serving as a mentor, may use the form below.

    Seeking a mentorJust want some information

    General mentoringNetworking and links to professionalResume developmentTraining/skills needed for non-academic employmentOther

    About Mentors and Mentoring
    NAPA mentors typically are anthropologists who have been working in a non-academic setting for at least two years, are at least three years postgraduate, and have a minimum of two years experience in areas such as government, private, nonprofit, or consulting settings. A PhD is not required. All mentor applicants must be NAPA members. The NAPA Mentor Committee will provide potential mentors with a packet of relevant information on mentoring

    The Mentor Program is designed to foster an ongoing relationship between the mentor and the mentee. Mentors must be committed to supporting this relationship through continued contact with their partners. Mentors should plan on meeting with their mentee at least once if possible to best enhance the exchange; this is usually done during an annual AAA or SfAA meeting, but can occur as convenient for both parties. Ongoing contact, at least bi-monthly, should happen by telephone or email.

    Mentee/mentor relationships are anticipated to be for at least one year, and may continue upon the consent of both. Participants sign an agreement that clearly lays out the expectations of the professional relationship, and agree to abide by the terms.

    Expectations of the Mentor

    • Provide and update information on your career path and interests to the NAPA Mentor Committee so that you can be assigned the right mentee(s).
    • Make yourself available for introductory telephone conversations (preferred) or email exchanges with potential mentees to determine whether there is a good match.
    • Work with those you mentor to arrange ongoing telephone conversations, in-person meetings or other activities to support the mentee.
    • Complete a brief form evaluating your experience as a mentor, to help us improve the program.

    To sign up to be a NAPA mentor, complete the Mentor Match form in the tab above, noting your interest to potentially serve as a mentor. We look forward to hearing from you!

    Instant Mentoring

    NAPA sponsors instant mentoring annually at AAA meetings. If you are attending the annual AAA meeting, look for the NAPA information table (typically in or near the exhibition hall). Instant mentoring is scheduled for several hours during regular meeting hours. Mentees sign up at the NAPA information table or are mentored on the spot. This is an extremely popular offering and provides a real service to new and transitioning anthropologists of all backgrounds and interests.

    Welcome To NAPA

    NAPA promotes human-centered work applied to practical problems by linking a network of professional anthropologists working across employment sectors.  We support all anthropologists in bringing real solutions to communities, organizations, and policymakers, by offering advocacy, information, networks, mentoring, and continuing education.


    AnthroJobs of the Week

    AnthroJobs of the Week, 18 January 2021

    Happy Wednesday, Readers! We have two interesting positions this week, one at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and another at Riot Games. Check them out! The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County was the first museum in L.A. to open its doors 107 years ago and is poised for an exciting […]

    Read More »
    Sign-up to the new Design By Anthropologists Blog!

            Learn More