Frequently Asked Questions for ACP Protégés
Do I need to pay for any of ACP's services? How is your program funded?
You do not need to pay for any of ACP’s services. We are a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and we are fully funded by our Corporate Partners and generous donations.
I am actively job searching. Can my Mentor get me a job?
No, your Mentor cannot get you a job, but they can assist you in the job search process. This would involve things like refining your résumé, practicing interviews, and honing networking skills, as opposed to more immediate job placement services.
Where do you get your Mentors and what do they gain from the program?
Our Mentors come from our Corporate Partners and they are all volunteers. The program is a great community engagement opportunity for them. All of our Mentors want to support the veteran community and are interested in learning about your experience.
How long does it take to get paired with a Mentor?
We place an emphasis on finding a quality Mentor for you as quickly as possible. The wait time to be paired depends on the Mentors we have available in your career field of interest. Typically, our wait times range from a few days to four weeks once the search begins. Your ACP Contact will keep you updated throughout the search process.
How does your pairing process work? Will I have a choice of Mentors?
Your ACP Contact will search for a Mentor for you. When your Contact identifies a potential Mentor, they will put the Mentor on a temporary hold, and send you an email with the Mentor’s information. You don’t have a “choice of Mentors,” per se, but you do have the choice to accept the Mentor that is sent to you, or to ask your Contact to keep searching if you do not want to work with the Mentor they identified. If you are not satisfied with the Mentor that your Contact sent you, please provide them with a few reasons as to why you feel it would not be a good fit, so that they can conduct a better search the second time around.
We have introductory calls with all of our participants – Mentors and Protégés alike. We manually search through our database for the best Mentors for our Protégés, rather than using any kind of algorithm or automated process.
What criteria do you use to match me with a Mentor?
When searching for a Mentor for you, we will be looking for someone whose professional background is most closely aligned with what you’re hoping to accomplish in our program.
We will also consider other factors such as age, gender, location and personality.
Do you have Mentors available in different industries?
Yes! Our Mentors come from our 65+ Corporate Partners, which represent a wide range of industries. We do ask you to keep in mind that our Mentors mainly come from corporate America. If you are interested in something like small business or government, we may not have a Mentor in that field.
We do have another program, ACP AdvisorNet, which addresses a much broader scope of industries. ACP AdvisorNet is an online professional development community, which includes thousands of Advisors with a variety of career backgrounds. You can use ACP AdvisorNet to ask questions, read articles, and reach out to individual members of our community for professional development advice.
I really want to be able to meet my Mentor in person. Is this possible?
We are a nation-wide program, so the vast majority of our mentorships take place remotely. We have learned that pairing people along career interests is more important to a successful mentorship than being face-to-face. That being said, we will do our best to find the closest Mentor to you geographically, so long as their experience aligns with your professional goals.
If you are in a long-distance mentorship but you still want to network in your area, we encourage you to look at the Community page on ACP AdvisorNet. You can search by zipcode and reach out to Advisors who are close to you for professional development guidance and advice.
I want to work with a Mentor from a specific company. Can ACP accommodate this?
We can’t guarantee a match with a Mentor from a specific company, but please feel free to let your ACP Contact know which companies pique your interest. It helps us in the search process to understand what type of Mentor you would like to work with.
I want to work with a Mentor who has served in the military. Can ACP accommodate this?
Approximately, one third of our Mentors are veterans. Many others are spouses of veterans, or come from military families. If it is important for you to have a Mentor who has served, we can certainly prioritize that in our search process. However, it may take longer to identify the right fit, as this preference limits the pool of Mentors we will be looking at for you.
Do I need to schedule calls with my Mentor in advance?
Yes. Our Mentors are working professionals with very full schedules, and they are volunteering their time. Scheduling calls in advance simplifies the logistics for both of you, and ensures that you are devoting enough time to your mentorship each month.
My Mentor and I have are having a hard time scheduling calls. Can we just use email?
We highly encourage phone contact at a minimum of an hour per month. Emails can be a great tool to supplement a mentorship, but they often lack the real-time feedback and personal connection required for an effective mentorship. Please let your ACP Contact know if you are having scheduling difficulties with your Mentor. We are happy to suggest new strategies and tools to make the logistics easier.
What role does my ACP Contact play in my mentorship?
We are here to help make your mentorship run smoothly. Your ACP Contact can provide articles for you to discuss with your Mentor, résumé templates and any other materials you may need. We can also suggest new topics for you to consider, resolve communication difficulties and offer strategies for any situation that you are facing. We have worked with thousands of veterans and we can suggest strategies that proved effective in other mentorships. Your ACP Contact will reach out to you on a regular basis, but we also encourage you to provide proactive updates to us at any point in the mentorship and communicate how we can best assist you.
I am concerned that I am imposing on my Mentor’s time. Are they willing to work with me?
You are expected to take a proactive role in your mentorship, so do not worry about seeming like you’re imposing. Your Mentor will leave it up to you to schedule meetings and to come to those meetings prepared with agenda items. Your Mentor volunteered for the program and is excited to work with you. Wether your Mentor is a veteran or not, all of our Mentors have come to us out of the desire to support the veteran community.
After speaking with my Mentor, I don’t think they are a good fit to help me with my goals. What should I do?
We understand that, despite our best efforts, a mentorship might not work out. Please share your concerns with your ACP Contact right away. We encourage our Protégés to consider if a Mentor can still help them with general professional development skills. Most of our Mentors are happy to help with things like rewriting your résumé and preparing you for an interview, even if they don’t have direct experience in your exact career interest.
This is also a great opportunity to use ACP AdvisorNet, our online professional development community. Once you create a profile, you can use the Community feature to search for an Advisor by industry, and you can message them privately with any questions. You can also post a question and receive advice from Advisors who feel that they can help you. Your ACP Contact is happy to answer any questions or give you a tour of the site over the phone.
We have worked on all of my goals. Do I have to complete the entire year of the formal Mentorship program?
We highly encourage you to complete the full year. That being said, we judge the success of a mentorship based on the value that you derive from it, not necessarily on the completion of the full year of the program. If you feel that all your goals have been met, we can discuss concluding the formal mentorship early. However, we have found that many of our Protégés benefit from continuing to work with their Mentor for the full 12 months. Your ACP Contact is happy to suggest new topics for you to consider with your Mentor.
I just got a new job. What should I do about my mentorship?
Congratulations on your new position! Now you can begin to work with your Mentor on adjusting to your new job. A few examples of things to work on now would include preparing for your first day, re-examining your short and long-term goals, navigating through civilian work culture and networking within your industry. Your ACP Contact is happy to suggest additional topics and provide resources.
I wish I had more materials to structure my mentorship and discuss with my Mentor. Where should I look?
Your ACP Contact is happy to provide you with support in this area. We will offer suggestions for articles, templates and tools for you to look at throughout your mentorship. We keep track of a wide variety of resources that have helped other Protégés in our program, and we love sharing them. Please let your ACP Contact know if there is a particular topic that you would like more to learn more about. You can also find helpful material on the Resources Page of our website.
Can I continue talking to my Mentor after the one-year formal mentorship ends?
Absolutely! In fact, most people do. When your ACP Contact notifies you that your mentorship has reached the year mark, the only difference is that we will not be following up with you like we did while you were active in our program. Please do continue to stay in touch with us by connecting on LinkedIn and liking us on Facebook.
What can I do to thank my Mentor for dedicating their time to working with me?
There are many ways to thank your Mentor for their time and efforts. We invite you to contribute to our ongoing video campaign of Protégés thanking their Mentors. Simply record a 30-second video on your phone or webcam and email it to your ACP Contact. It is a great way to personally thank your Mentor and their company for their support. If a video is outside your comfort zone, a written testimonial can be a wonderful alternative!
I have had a great experience with ACP. Can I refer fellow veterans to the program?
Yes! We work with any veterans who have at least 180 days of active duty orders service post-9/11. If one of your friends can benefit from the program, you can refer them to our Veteran Application Page. Your ACP Contact is happy to answer any questions your friend may have about the program.