Mentee Overview
Mentee Overview
Your role is to ask questions, share your successes and any challenges you’re facing, and take the lead in learning how to enhance your professional career with the guidance of your mentor.

 Qualities of a Good Mentee
  • Internal drive
  • Receptive to feedback and advice
  • Seeks opportunities for continuous learning
  • Learns from mistakes
  • Appreciative
  • Interest in personal growth and development
  • Open to understanding cultural differences
Benefits for You as Mentee
  • Acquire technical and career path knowledge
  • Receive guidance
  • Develop a sense of trust
  • Gain a champion
  • Have a sounding board
  • Grow your professional network to include water leaders
  • Grow your networking skills
  • Start your career journey on a positive path

Mentor Overview
Mentor Overview
Your role is to offer advice, guidance, skill development, and career enhancement to your mentee. You don’t have to have any prior teaching experience. Just be yourself and share what you know.

Qualities of a Good Mentor
  • Likes people
  • Committed & makes time to mentor
  • Consistent and confidential
  • Patient
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Open to understanding cultural differences
  • Willing to introduce mentee to other high-profile people as appropriate
Benefits for You as Mentor
  • Share your successes and challenges
  • Share insights
  • Enhance your life skills
  • Enjoy giving back
  • Gain personal fulfillment and a new connection
  • Discover new ideas and perspectives from the next generation
  • Build a stronger, thriving wastewater profession


“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” – Bob Proctor, motivation speaker and author

Mentoring is also two-directional. Research shows mentoring can benefit the mentor as much as the mentee.



  • February-March: Apply and matching 
  • April: Orientation training 
    • Training will be provided once mentors/mentees are paired
  • April-December: Two check-ins with CWEA per year 
    • Answer follow-up surveys after relationship has been established



This program is free and open to all CWEA members as one of the benefits of membership

Engineering, scientific, or trades. Plus, list your own preferences for a match.



Megan Barillo
Staff representative
Communications Manager, CWEA

CWEA has on-call  experts to assist you with a complex mentoring question or situation.



California water and wastewater agencies and firms are striving for retention, job satisfaction, improved morale, increased productivity, and cultivating successful leaders. Mentoring facilitates these goals.

Mentoring is a collaborative back-and-forth relationship that typically occurs between a senior and junior employee for the purpose of the mentee’s growth, learning, and career development. There is an emphasis on personal growth, culture, career goals, and advice.

Have you ever had a career mentor in your life? How did that person help and guide you to reach your goals?  
Have you ever had a mentor in your personal life? Perhaps a high school coach, a Boy Scout or Girl Scout leader or a family member?

While there is some overlap, a coach is very different than a mentor. Coaching is shorter term and is usually instituted in a company to improve an employee’s job performance. The coaching may not be voluntary. There are expected outcomes. Mentoring, on the other hand, has different goals. Mentors support and guide a mentee’s personal career growth. It is voluntary on the part of the mentor and mentee. The pair decide together what they are going to do to enhance the mentee’s growth. It’s also fun! 

Your role is to offer advice, guidance, skill development, and career enhancement to your mentee. You don’t have to have any prior teaching experience. Just be yourself and share what you know from your own experience. Be empathetic. Be a good listener.

Your role is to ask questions, share your successes and any challenges you’re facing, and take the lead in learning how to enhance your professional career with the guidance of your mentor.

This depends completely on the schedules of the mentor and mentee.  
Meeting times and locations are left up to the discretion of each mentoring pair. In-person when feasible, via Zoom, Facetime, cell, text, and/or e-mail are all options. Mentors and mentees can opt for lunchtime, after work meetings, or on weekends. We ask that mentors and mentees meet at least  twice per month for one year. There is also a minimum commitment to participate in quarterly check-ins with CWEA staff who will provide support to the mentors and mentees and provide training to prepare you for your experience.

The mentor cannot know everything and may get frustrated because they want to be helpful. This is especially true if the mentor and mentee are not working in the same practice area. Here is an opportunity for the mentor to invite a colleague who is an expert in that area to join a session and provide the needed information.

Waiting for your mentee to reach out to you may mean that they are busy or simply forgot. Wait no longer. The mentor should contact the mentee to arrange a time for a session and reenergize the match.

The number of scheduled sessions is totally up to the pairs. What may be a suitable number of sessions for one pair is not necessarily the same for another. Establish a schedule that is reasonable for both mentor and mentee. Put the date and time for mentoring in your phone calendar just as you do for a meeting or doctor’s appointment. If you are unable to make the session, make sure you notify the mentor/mentee immediately and reschedule.


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