As an emerging professional, you are at a time of transition that can be difficult to navigate. Having a mentor to guide you on your journey can be priceless. There is no better way to be involved in the Visual Resources Association than through mentoring.
The year-round mentor program is a wonderful addition to VRA’s active listserv, numerous publications, Regional Chapters and Annual Conference. New members can benefit from a having a mentor’s advice and assistance with establishing personal contacts within the Association and from having a friend to turn to when they have a professional question. The first priority when matching mentors and mentees is to match members within the same local chapter. This geographical proximity encourages mentors to meet their mentee in person, invite him or her to local meetings, make introductions, and, in general make them feel welcome to the Association. The mentor/mentee program is a great way to make new friends and be involved in the VRA.
If the year-round program isn’t your speed, and you plan on attending VRA’s annual conference for the first or second time, we strongly encourage you to participate in the conference mentor program. Attending a conference for the first time can be a daunting experience. You don’t really know what is going on, where you are supposed to be, or who you are going to hang out with. Fortunately, the VRA members are a friendly bunch and will welcome you with open arms! Mentors make contact with their protégé before coming to the conference and make arrangements to meet for coffee or lunch, etc. on the first or second day. Throughout the conference mentors and mentees are encouraged to talk about the Association, give conference survival tips, and introduce the new members to others to help that person build his or her own network within the Association. It is a great service that helps you get the most out of your conference experience.