How much time will be involved in the mentoring relationship?
The time committed to the relationship is entirely up to the participants. The mentee and the mentor shall decide together what works best for them. In the context of the Matador Network, mentoring is the development of a voluntary online relationship between a mentee and alumnus in which the participants ask and answer questions via email, phone or Skype. There is no expectation that internships, employment opportunities or face-to-face meetings will result from the relationship. We suggest that mentors start by accepting accepting 3-5 mentees at a time and gage the time committment accordingly.
Are the mentors or mentees screened by the university?
The Matador Network consists of alumni and friends volunteering their time to serve as mentors and current CSUN students seeking the advice and guidance of these volunteers. Both parties complete online profiles which are lightly screened by university staff for spelling and grammar but not verified for accuracy. Due to the volunteer structure of the program, the university cannot guarantee that all information shared by participants is accurate and up-to-date. The relationship is characterized by respect and a conscious effort toward mutual exchange and interpersonal support. If you come across mis-information listed in a participant profile, please contact us.
How are the participants paired?
Registered mentees begin by searching the database of mentor profiles using a key word search using a wide variety of search criteria. Mentees then send a request via email to a potential mentor from the pool. The mentor has the opportunity to either accept or decline the request. Once a request is accepted, the relationship begins.
If the request meets the maximum number of profiles alloted at one time by the mentor, the mentor profile is hidden from view by future mentees until the relationship has concluded.
What should I do once I have been paired with a mentor?
We ask the mentee to make the first contact after the mentor accepts the mentoring request. Our hope is that the pair will have a personal conversation early in their communication via email, phone, or Skype, in which they can get to know each other’s general interests, career goals and industry perspectives. See our tips foe conversation starters in the side bar.
For mentors: Why haven't I been requested yet?
The Matador Network does not automatically match mentors with mentees. Requests are based on the level of interest in mentor profiles. Mentees can search for mentors in the database using a wide variety of search criteria. It is important to make sure your profile is complete and your contact email address is up-to-date.
For mentees: Why was I declined?
There are a variety of reasons why a requested alumnus might have declined you, most of which probably have nothing to do with you personally. It may be an especially busy time for the alumnus, or the alumnus does not see a professional fit. Don't get discouraged, just go back into the system and search to request another mentor. Perhaps there is another mentor outside of your major or industry choice that can offer expertise and career advice.
Are the policies or expectations for personal conduct?
The Matador Network program is not responsible for the way mentors and mentees interact but does reserve the right to remove any mentor or mentee that does not adhere to the CSUN Student Code of Conduct, Mission or Values of California State University, Northridge. The Matador Network takes precauctions to secure the information available on the website but is not responsible for what students or alumni do with the personal information that is available or accessible through the program.
What if there is a problem with my mentoring relationship?
If you are experiencing any problems in your mentoring relationship or have any questions, please notify the Matador Network coordinator in the Office of Alumni Relations at (818) 677-2137. We want you to have a satisfying experience and welcome feedback to improve the program.
Is my personal information secure?
The Matador Network takes precautions to protect the user's information. When users submit information via the website, the information is protected both online and off-line. The data is password protected and all personally identifiable information collected by the Matador Network is stored in limited-access servers with technical, administrative, and physical security measures and safeguards in place to protect against the loss, misuse, and alteration of the stored data under our care. Our CSUN technical partners are also able to view the information to the extent necessary to facilitate the running of the website and the operation of the program.
Our commitment to all users is that we will maintain the security of all information collected on this website and will not sell or transmit, in any fashion, this information to any other organization outside of the university.
How is my personal information used?
The Matador Network receives and collects personally identifiable information about a student or alumni user via the Matador Network when they register to use the service. The Matador Network uses the information provided by participants for the following purposes:
- To allow registered mentees to search for mentors with characteristics such as academic, career and geographical interests to produce fruitful mentoring relationships.
- To validate the identity of participants.
- To enable participants to access various tools, features, and functions of the Matador Network system, in particular, contacting each other and continuing their mentoring relationship.
- To communicate with registered users regarding use of the Matador Network, site changes, or information on events or activities associated with the Matador Network.
- To append or update contact and biographical records stored in the official university alumni database.
How do I update my profile information?
The Matador Network allows users to change, correct or delete personal information at any time. To do so, users simply login to their account, go to their profile, and locate options for editing this information. See side bar for links.
How do I sign up for The Matador Network?
Alumni Mentors: You can participate in the Matador Network by clicking the "Become a Mentor" button above. You will then complete your profile with background information and select personal mentoring preferences. Students or recent graduates will have the chance to view your profile and request you as a mentor. After being selected, you can confirm a mentee, and you will be notified by email of the match. Additionally, you will also get the benefit of requesting how many mentees you would like to be in contact with at any given time, which you can increase or decrease at will.
Student Mentees: You will need to complete a short profile and provide your contact information to participate. Once verified in the system, you will be provided with access to search and request mentors. You will send an introductory email to the mentor and will be notified if the mentor accepts the match.
Alumni Mentees: You will need to contact the CSUN Career Center at (818) 677-2878 to set up your account through SUNlink. Once you are set up and verified in the SUNlink system, you will be directed to complete a short profile before you have access to search and request mentors. You will send an introductory email to the mentor and will be notified if the mentor accepts the match.