Mentoring can help students achieve their educational, professional and personal goals. Serving as a mentor helps students negotiate various professional and personal challenges as well as assist with career success. Being a mentee provides an opportunity to learn about engineering careers and develop a relationship with a working engineer. The ways in which participants influence and learn from one another are immeasurable, and the benefits will have a positive, lasting effect. This program was developed with the mentee at the center. The goal is to connect a mentee with a mentor who will celebrate wins, help with professional development and advise on how to navigate career options. When establishing groups, the MEET program does their best to match mentors and mentees.

Want to be a mentor or a mentee?


All mentees will receive a gift card at first meeting with their mentor.

Photography: © 2023 Olsson

ACEC Nebraska MEET Mentoring Program

Fostering Nebraska’s future engineers

“This program shows how much support there is for Nebraska’s future engineers from the professional community – it’s just unparalleled,” Bartelt-Hunt says. “The mentorship for our students is invaluable, and I hope this program helps us to retain more diverse engineers to help us solve the state’s future engineering challenges.” – Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNL, who liaised with ACEC NE and other faculty members to help establish the MEET program.




Any undergraduate or graduate student at the University of Nebraska College of Engineering is eligible to participate in the mentorship program as a mentee, and any practicing or recently retired engineer is eligible to participate as a mentor. ACEC NE, the University of Nebraska COE, and an appointed committee of practicing engineers will administer the program.

Mentors and mentees must be willing to commit to the MEET Program for a full academic year. All participants are expected to complete the registration form and provide information including contact information, education, work location, current employer, and interest. This information will be used during the matching process. After a successful match, mentors and mentees are expected to meet two to three times a semester at a minimum, but may meet more frequently if all participants agree. Mentors will have two to three Mentees and will meet in groups (not individually with the Mentee).

  • Morning, afternoon, or early evening meetings are acceptable. In-person meetings should be completed by 8 pm.
  • Discussions between Mentor and Mentee(s) are considered confidential and should be focused only on academic and professional activities. Be careful about sensitive personal issues. Please respect privacy.
  • Respect religious, ethnic, and cultural lifestyles and customs.
  • Keep language professional. Avoid using any slang, derogatory terms, profanity, or slurs.
  • If a Mentor or Mentee has a concern, please contact Jeanne McClure or a program coordinator.  
  • If mentor/mentee match is unsatisfactory, then a program coordinators will make an effort to rematch mentor and or mentees to another group. This will be done on a case-by-case basis.

Below are some helpful tips and guidelines for mentors. After enrolling as a mentor, participants will be provided with the complete Mentor Guidelines and Code of Conduct document. In the document, full details about Health and Safety, Activities and Program Rules are available.

Frequency: Mentors are expected to meet with Mentees two to three times a semester.

Mentees: Mentors are expected to mentor a group of two (2) to three (3) mentees. Mentoring sessions are group sessions.

Role as a Mentor:

  • As with any relationship, establishing trust with your mentees is important and will be the foundation of your future meetings. Whether by text, phone, or email, establish the primary way to communicate with your mentees. Establish a time where you can usually answer calls or make contact. Mentors make the first contact.
  • Assume the role of a dependable, consistent friend. Present information carefully, without distortion, and give all perspectives a fair hearing. Listen carefully and offer possible solutions without passing judgment. Don’t criticize or preach, but rather challenge them to think critically and from different perspectives. Think of ways to problem solve together rather than lecturing or telling mentees what to do.
  • Respect their uniqueness and honor the integrity of your mentees and “Influence” them through constructive feedback. The mentor empowers the mentees to make right decisions without actually deciding for the mentees. Identify the mentees’ interests and take them seriously. Be alert for opportunities and teaching moments. Explore positive and negative consequences together.

Health and Safety:

  • As a mentor you can share and advise, but know your limitations. Your mentees may choose to share personal issues and ask for help. If you have any concerns beyond your capabilities, please encourage them to seek the appropriate professional for help.
  • If you have become aware that your mentees’ safety or the safety of another is in jeopardy through disclosure, report your concern to the proper authorities immediately. Let your mentees know that you are required to do so. This requirement should always be discussed at the beginning of the relationship to inform the mentees of your obligation to report safety concerns.
  • Do not use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs when with your mentees.
  • Do not have firearms or weapons present while with your mentees.
  • Always meet mentees in a public space, preferably on campus.
  • Mentors should not offer rides to mentees.


  • Ask your mentees to help make decisions or have them plan an activity. If you are working with a group of mentees – let them take turns planning.
  • Expenses incurred for mentor/mentees activities will not be reimbursed by ACEC Nebraska or the University. Entertainment is not the focal point of your relationship with your mentees. However, purchasing nominal items like coffee/soda/etc. for your mentees is appropriate, taking them to Top Golf is not. Do not spend an exorbitant amount of money for activities, gifts, and so on.
  • Always remind your mentee(s) before your scheduled meeting or appointment.

Tips for a Mentor:

  • Demonstrate interest, helpful intent, and involvement.
  • Establish rapport by learning or remembering personal information about your Mentee.
  • Keep in frequent contact with your mentee. Even a short email or phone call can make a difference.
  • Be available and keep your appointments.
  • Hold your mentee accountable for commitments and goals. Follow up frequently.
  • Consistently evaluate the effectiveness of your mentoring and adjust your style as needed.
  • Be yourself and allow your mentee to do the same.
  • Remember that active listening is one of the most important skills of a good mentor.

Below are some helpful tips and guidelines for mentors. After enrolling as a mentor, participants will be provided with the complete Mentor Guidelines and Code of Conduct document. In the document, full details about Health and Safety, Activities and Program Rules are available. Mentors will be asked to review and sign this agreement prior to participation in the program.

Frequency: Mentees and their groups are expected to meet with Mentors two to three times a semester.

Role as a Mentee:

  • Initially, it is the responsibility of the mentor to reach out to the mentee.  Please respond to your mentor as soon as possible after contact.
  • During the initial meeting, be prepared to talk about yourself to the group and get to know everyone on a personal level.  Discuss preferred modes of communication, meeting locations and time constraints you may have.  As an individual and as a group, consider what goals should be achieved and identify specific action items that will help to achieve those goals. 
  • When meeting with your mentor, come prepared with questions. 
  • Be considerate of the mentor’s schedule, by respecting their time and answering correspondence promptly.  Show up when you’ve agreed upon a meeting time and if you are unable to make the meeting, give timely notice as some mentors are traveling for these meetings. 
  • Use your active listening skills to understand your mentor’s response and ask clarifying questions.
  • If the mentor does not have an immediate answer to a question, they are committed to utilizing their resources to find an answer. 
  • Understand that this mentoring relationship is not one-sided, and you should enter the process with thoughts on how you can help your mentor give you the best advice.  Encourage your mentor to challenge you and be receptive to feedback.  Your mentor is learning from you as much as you are learning from them.

Tips for a Mentee:

Be open: While the intent of the mentorship program is to help you develop as a professional, it is encouraged for you to share some of the things that make you who you are. Sharing your hobbies and interests with your mentor may help you break the ice and establish some things in common, which will in turn help develop a stronger and more enriching relationship.

Be genuine: One of the great benefits of mentorship is identifying strengths and opportunities. Being honest and transparent during discussion and reflection with your mentor is critical to gaining the most from this process.

Be professional: The mentoring partnership is a great place to start demonstrating professional behavior and learning how professionals interact in the workspace.

Be thoughtful: Your mentor may be able to help you find solutions to some problems you are having. If you approach your mentor for help, first consider the problem you are having and try to come up with a few solutions on your own. Afterwards, reflect with your mentor about the problem-solving process and be mindful of the lessons you can carry forward.

Be collaborative: Take advantage of opportunities to interact with other mentees and mentors. Share what has been successful for you and what hasn’t. Your experience may help others in their mentorships, and likewise their experiences, may help you steer your mentorship experience.

Be responsive: Your mentor is just as busy as you are with work, family, and other engagements. Be respectful by responding to communications in a timely manner and being prepared for each meeting.



“Meeting regularly with two extremely talented freshman students was something I found beneficial for my personal career development as it gave me another opportunity to interact with potential future employees and understand their interests while providing them a glimpse of the real world as an engineering consultant.”

—Doug Holle PE, ACEC NE Board National Director and Principal | Schemmer