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
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.
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!
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.