The Wildlife Society Thrives With A Mentoring Program In Full Swing
The Wildlife Society has been a customer of Chronus since May 2010, when they began the launch of an online mentoring program that would change the way mentors and mentees connect year round. In interviewing Mr. Darryl Walter, the Director of Membership Marketing and Conferences for The Wildlife Society, we gained insight into the many invaluable a mentoring program has improved their efforts. Having such a program has advanced the way their organization shares expertise across boundaries and helps, “…cultivate the next generation of Wildlife professionals” as Darryl puts it, for a society that has been around for 75 years.
The Wildlife Society’s mentoring program is available to over 600 members. The program has been designed to last for a 6 month period in which students are able to seek training from experts who are currently active in the Wildlife profession and in many instances, have been for decades. Often times the connection stays intact beyond the 6 month set-up to include follow up calls and emails for months and years to come.
Mr. Walters notes that one of the greatest benefits to having a mentoring program, set up through Chronus Software, is the ability for members to stay connected and have resources on hand at any time regardless of distance. Before launching their mentoring program, The Wildlife Society often relied on annual conference meetings as a primary method for training purposes. The difficulty came in keeping members informed and able to retain information after conferences had concluded. By having a place to meet consistently and post questions or assistance, members can remain up to date and have constant support.
Darryl emphasizes the importance of having ongoing discussion forums and prompts set up within the Chronus software program which helps encourage consistent communication between mentors and mentees. He mentions the possibility for difficulty when ongoing discussions are not maintained causing connections to dissolve due to lack of maintenance.
Now that The Wildlife Society has a smoothly running mentoring program in place online, members of the society have a place to regularly connect. The organization has found that many experienced mentors are enthusiastic about sharing their wisdom with others, and mentees have a place for constant feedback and encouragement.
When asked what it was about an online mentoring program supported by Chronus software, that most encouraged participation, he said, “They (the mentors) really want to carry on their legacy. We are seeing mentors that want to give something back to the profession. Mentees want to reach out to someone who is actually in the field…with real life experience.”