GEM mentors are members of the Georgia Chamber’s Board of Directors. They support the professional, intellectual, and personal growth of Georgia College students by providing opportunities to learn about the principles and practices of effective leadership. GEM Mentors are:
Asked to provide their students at least four shadowing visit opportunities over the course of the program—typically two in the autumn and two in the spring.
Encouraged to communicate regularly with their students throughout the program.
Invited to attend the opening GEM Autumn Reception, hosted in Atlanta.
Invited to attend a closing GEM Spring Dinner, hosted in Milledgeville.
Invited to be guest speakers at leadership luncheons and to host students for excursions to their organizations’ headquarters.
How can serving as a mentor help me and my organization?
- A strong Georgia—a Georgia with successful businesses and thriving and prosperous communities—needs capable leaders prepared to meet current and future challenges. The lessons that a skilled mentor has to share can’t always be learned in a classroom. Effective mentorships offer you an opportunity to invest in the future of your community and of Georgia by sharing wisdom and insight with a new generation of our state’s leaders.
- You can learn as much from your student as your student can learn from you. Mentorships are meant to be mutually beneficial relationships. Consider how your organization might benefit from the insights of an eager and committed young professional.
- Maintaining strong mentoring relationships will establish your organization’s reputation for investing in the community. Simple mentorships represent a low-cost/no-cost proposition for your organization.
- Employers often identify skills gaps in entry-level graduates—from leadership and creative problem-solving to intercultural understanding and willingness to engage with new ideas. Intentional discussions of those skills can both better prepare your student for his or her professional life and can help members of your own organization to understand, recruit, and retain the best talent.
At the heart of GEM, shadowing visits allow students to witness and experience leadership in action. Your students are encouraged to watch closely, listen carefully, and participate actively.
You and your student are asked to complete at least four shadowing visits over the course of the year’s session, but you certainly should complete more if there are opportunities to do so. Should your schedule and your student's schedule allow, you may like to schedule one of your visits over Georgia College’s winter break in December and January.
The details of shadowing visits will vary, depending on a number of factors: the nature of your job, the timing of special events and activities that relate to your organization’s work, the particular interests of your student, current events, and the flexibility of your schedules. Some visits might take place in an office and involve your student meeting your colleagues and learning how each staff member contributes within the organization. Others may take place on trips, site visits, meetings, and so on. You and your student are simply encouraged to seek out engaging opportunities when your student might gain insight into what it takes to be an effective and successful leader.
Harold Mock, Director of Leadership Programs, 478-445-1227