The Mentoring Program was launched in 2017 by the SPE Romanian Section Young Professionals with the intention to bring the community together and support our students in having a steep learning curve and being prepared for the time they will graduate. It is one of our most loved Section events, gaining more and more traction over the years.
For the past years, we tried to improve and adapt to change but our mission stood the same:
To facilitate the transition from Student to Young Professional, help our students gain academic direction, and provide the opportunity to obtain industry insight and career guidance from industry experts, motivate, coach, and prepare them for change.
The program gives SPE Professional members an opportunity to contribute to the E&P industry by sharing business insights and practical career advice with our students (Bachelors or Masters) from SPE Student Chapters from the Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, University of Bucharest, and the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi.
Professionals have the unique opportunity to guide and enrich students’ professional and technical skills. This is the chance to alter perspectives and support the future of the energy industry. The program structure is very flexible and does not have strict guidelines. The participants have the freedom to choose the activities they want to put into practice and their preferred means of communication.
Who can participate as a Mentor? Any SPE member that is willing to invest part of their time to help students out and be part of their professional and personal growth.
Who can participate as a Mentee? The Mentoring program rewards the daring SPE Student Chapter members with an opportunity to gain industry insight and career guidance from an industry expert.
How long is the commitment? This year's mentoring relationship is envisioned as a 7-month-long commitment but it is not limited to it. Many pairs continued their activity after the end of an edition.
What is expected from a Mentor?
Your role as a mentor is to inspire, encourage, and support your mentee, and to contribute to his/her professional and personal development.
What is expected from a Mentee?
Take a proactive role in shaping the relationship.
Communicate what you want from the mentoring relationship including your goals and aspirations. Be open and honest with your mentor about your strengths and weaknesses. Set aside time for the mentoring process and keep all scheduled appointments with your mentor.
Put your time with your mentor to good use by planning topics ahead of the call.
Respond to your mentor’s feedback in a timely manner.
What do Mentors typically share with Mentees?
- Professional experience;
- Industry trends;
- Advice for defining and reaching goals;
- Job interview tips and resume reviews for students;
- Recommendations for additional education or development;
- Academic guidance for students.
What Mentors do not typically provide to Mentees?
- Supplemental tutoring with school projects, papers, and research;
- Internships or job offers;
Requirements for Mentees:
- Member of the Student Chapter from his/her University;
- Bachelor or Master Student (not employed);
- Convey your needs and goals to your mentor;
- Get in contact with the mentor by phone, email, Skype, other social media, or in person at least twice per month during the program.
- Registered on SPE eMentoring portal found at https://www.spe.org/ementoring/
Maintain regular contact. Mentors and mentees should commit to speaking a minimum of 2 times a month during the mentoring program. The world has changed and communication lanes have never been more easily accessible than now, so use any online platform you prefer to communicate.
Set clear and realistic goals. At the start of a mentoring partnership, mentors and mentees will have a conversation that addresses goals for both the mentor and mentee.
Be responsive. Both mentors and mentees are expected to return calls and e-mails in a timely manner.
Provide feedback. It is important that feedback is candid and delivered in a thoughtful and constructive way. Help your mentee/mentor learn how to receive and respond to feedback.
Facilitate self-reflection and self-development. Ask thought-provoking questions to help each other understand and articulate his or her motivations, accomplishments, weaknesses, etc. Employ active listening as a way to develop questions to ask your mentee.
Honor commitments. If a mentoring conversation must be canceled it is expected that both mentor and mentee will do their best to communicate in advance of the meeting and reschedule.
Throughout your mentoring partnership, keep in mind the challenges students face as they transition from adolescence to adulthood. This formative time in a student’s life is marked by the discovery and exploration of personal beliefs, interests, values, strengths, goals, and identity. It is an opportunity to help your mentee to learn how to confront problems, both big and small, which may include selecting a career path, forming healthy relationships, finding meaning and purpose, managing conflict, making academic and social choices, and navigating increased diversity, or other social issues.
Requirements for Mentors:
- Paid SPE membership;
- Practicing professional in the energy industry;
- Serve as a role model and assist your mentee to achieve his/her goals;
- Get in contact with the mentee by phone, email, Skype, other social media, or in person at least twice per month during the program;
- Encourage your mentee to participate in industry activities.
- Registered on SPE eMentoring portal found at https://www.spe.org/ementoring/
Past activity example (not mandatory):
- Work on CV/resume
- Create/optimize LinkedIn Profile
- Interview simulation/tips
- Field trips (Well-sites, operations, facilities)
- Discussion on future opportunities that fit Mentee's vision
- Make a priority list of what to focus on currently
- SPE Competency matrix
- Discuss technical projects (Upstream technical disciplines)
- The future of the energy industry and Master's degree ideas (GeoEnergy discussions)
- Soft-skills workshops (Business Etiquette, Public Speaking)
- Discussion on: How to swing a mortgage? A credit card? How to ask for a raise? When is a good time to move jobs?
- Job shadow (responsibilities, software used)
- Difference between a Technical or Managerial career ascent
- Learn a new skill together (Python)
- Book club (or simply revise SPE papers)
- Sports challenge (Running, Hiking, winter sports)
- Structured document on the Drive/Cloud with the schedule of meetings
The success of our mentoring program is the result of everyone's voluntary work: the organizing team, mentors, and mentees.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”
- Benjamin Franklin
Years in review
1st Edition: 15 February - 15 July 2017. The 1st edition was a challenging but successful one with many lessons learned that set the standard for the years to come. 16 mentors and 16 mentees were the pioneers of our mentoring program.
"Being one of the founders, the mentoring program is a very dear one to me. I took part in 3 editions and I am still in contact with my mentees. Mentoring is an extraordinary experience, an unpaved road with great potential in the mentor-mentee relationship. There are many moments when you realize how much you can learn from each other."
- Laura Precupanu (mentor)
2nd Edition: 10 January - 16 August 2018. 32 more participants continued to make the magic happen in a friendly and fruitful environment.
3rd Edition: 16 January - June 2019. This is the year we took the next step and invited the senior SPE members to join the program to guide our students. 35 participants benefited from this edition.
4th Edition: 10 December 2019 - 12 November 2020. New faces showed up both from the mentors' and mentees' sides. 37 participants made it happen in this edition. It was the edition that started in person and continued virtually due to the pandemic situation.
"I consider myself to be already a faithful participant in the mentoring program since it’s my 3rd year in a row participating. Besides the activities focused on improving my CV, and LinkedIn page, I had also the chance to have individual activities tailored to my preferences (one-to-one interview sessions, building from scratch a project, non-formal discussions). Even though the mentoring program has ended I had gained something as important as any soft or hard skill, a reliable friend."
- Augustin Olariu (mentee)
5th Edition: 28 January - 28 September 2021. A record-breaking 56 participants signed up in this edition.
"The mentoring program got better from year to year and has widened its pool of choice for the mentees even more from one edition to the next. I had the luck of getting my first in-field experince through the mentoring program by spending 5 days observing preps and execution of a conductor frac job. My assigned mentor was specifically tailored to my goals each year and we are still good friends even after the program ended. Some even voluntarily offered to remain my mentors as long as I feel like I need it. Great people, great hearts, great minds. Career shaping experience for sure!"
- David Musca (mentee)
6th Edition: 15 March - 26 July 2022. This year the program continued in a hybrid mode with online general meetings. 17 mentors and 30 students have been paired up and developed their activities both in-person and online, the program becoming more and more international.
"The mentoring program is a to do for every oil & gas professional, cause you can learn and share knowledges, both mentors and mentees. The bond created can last long and connect the future with present engineers, shaping a continuity for the industry."
- Stefan Matache (mentor)
7th Edition: November - May 2023. 24 mentors and 43 students