OPTA Early Professional Special Interest Group (SIG) Introduces Mentorship Program “OPTA CONNECT”
The goal of the OPTA CONNECT program is to foster early professional growth and engagement and retention of OPTA membership from student member to early professional member, providing value to both the mentor and mentee through formalized relationships with defined limits and goals.
Background + Purpose:
OPTA CONNECT was generated to by the OPTA Early Professional Special Interest Group (EPSIG) to encourage early professionals to adapt to the field and develop as professionals through connections with seasoned professionals. The OPTA EPSIG is a group dedicated to the advancement of early professional (0-5 years post-graduation) physical therapists/ physical therapists assistants in OPTA. The program is derived from the three pillars of the OPTA EPSIG: Leadership, Membership and Mentorship.
OPTA CONNECT Mentors offer guidance about the organization, profession, industry, or career path and provide informed viewpoints.
Qualifications: An OPTA member in good standing more than five years post-graduation with a passion for developing tomorrow’s leaders. PS. Seasoned PTs may learn new skills as well!
OPTA CONNECT Mentees are dedicated to learning new skills and hungry to improve and grow as physical therapists in the workforce.
Qualifications: An OPTA member in good standing zero to five years post-graduation who is dedicated to both personal and professional growth as a physical therapist.
Both mentor and mentee may draw on personal lessons from past experiences, and discuss questions and challenges related to professional life and career progression. Participants are asked for a one-year commitment to the mentorship relationship.
Call for Mentors and Mentees:
OPTA is currently seeking mentors for our Early Professional members (zero to five years post-graduation) to support and encourage learning and development that will help achieve personal and professional goals as part of our new “OPTA CONNECT” program. Mentors will be paired with mentees by the OPTA EPSIG with the goal of monthly communication that fosters meaningful relationships and connects generations through shared professional interests. Pairings are based on number of available mentors and mentees, and if you are not paired immediately—be patient! We’re working to find your best match.
Mentors and mentees can set their own expectations and meeting structure—be creative and flexible for what works best for you! It’s important to set communication expectations from the start.
Whether it’s in person over coffee, a video check-in or a regular phone call, or a district event, you can find the arrangement and meeting schedule that meet your needs. OPTA CONNECT participants will also be recognized at the OPTA Annual Conference and have the opportunity to network with other program participants.
Not the Right Fit?
If your match is not meeting your needs, just let us know. We can help you examine what’s missing in the relationship and whether there is an opportunity to reshape it in some way. If the expectations don’t align, we will facilitate the disengagement with both transparency and honesty and help both the mentor and mentee establish new connections. We’ll carefully evaluate what could have gone better, and we should be done the next time to avoid a similar problem. Though sometimes a relationship just isn’t the right fit, the connections made are still valuable—your paths may cross again in the future!
- August 15, 2019: Initial communication to members + social media introduction of program
- September 1, 2019: OPTA to send eblast for registration for mentors to register via online form
- September 15, 2019: Sign up deadline
- October 1, 2019: MATCH DAY! Emails sent out to each mentor/mentee pair
- November 1, 2019: Email to mentors/mentees to troubleshoot
- March 15, 2020: Halfway point check in/mentees and mentors to provide feedback
How to Apply for Mentor/Mentee Opportunity:
Please note the Mentor/Mentee fields below. If you are applying to become a Mentor, you can disregard the Mentee form field. The same goes for those who are applying to become a mentee. Questions? Email email@example.com.