Career & Education Resources


Mentor Matching Program

_DSC3401*Matches have been made and all participants have been notified*

Interested in Mentoring?

Are you an APPAM student member in search of career development support, research guidance, and networking? The APPAM Mentor Matching Program is right for you! This program matches student members with professional members to connect one-on-one regarding professional development topics. We host meet-ups at the fall conference and various online events to connect throughout the year. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to check-in at least once per quarter.

The APPAM Mentor Matching Program began in 2016 by the APPAM Student Activities Committee as a means to better serve the APPAM student member population. What started out as an informal speed mentoring program has now grown to dozens of one-on-one mentor/mentee pairings between policy academics, researchers, and practitioners and student members. We encourage both students and professional members in the program to connect and expand their professional networks throughout the year and beyond.

Although the 2021 APPAM Fall Research Conference is returning to in-person this year, we will offer an optional virtual event on October 13 as well as the individual meet-up in Austin, Texas this November.

The virtual meet-up will consist of preassigned breakout rooms with up to five mentors and 10 mentees per breakout room based on type of mentoring being provided. Participation in the virtual meet-up is encouraged and you may make your selection in the application.



Dates to Remember

November 3, 2021 - Virtual Meet-up at 4pm ET

February 2, 2022 - Virtual Meet-up at 4 pm ET

March 27, 2022 - In-person Meet-up at #2021APPAM at 6 pm CT


Types of Mentoring Available 

The mentor/mentee relationship can be structured in whatever manner best suits your needs and the skills of your mentor. As a mentee, please have an idea of what you want to gain from this program when you initially connect with your mentor. Here are a some ideas to get you started, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.

  • Job Document Review – Resume, teaching statement, lesson planning, and career/goal setting 
  • Research Guidance – Offers feedback on current research, identifies possible collaborators or datasets, reviews research strategies/statements/questions 
  • Overall Professional Development – Provide information on career options, interviewing tips, teaching strategies, and overall long-term career planning
  • Fellowship Application Assistance – Assistance with preparing fellowship applications, budget, proposal, meeting requirements, and managing deadlines

How the Matching Process Works 

Policy academics, practitioners, and researchers will have their mentor profiles posted on The profile will include a bio sketch, research interest(s), and type of mentoring they will provide (see above). Students may view all mentor profiles and then indicate their top 3 mentors during the mentee application process. Once the match has been confirmed with the mentor, mentees will be notified and then make initial contact with their mentor.

Required Program Activities 

MentoringTo help facilitate meaningful connections, all mentors and mentees are required to participate in the following activities:  

  1. APPAM 2021 Fall Research Conference Meet-Up – APPAM invites all mentors and mentees at the 2021 Fall Research Conference to attend the meet-up.  
  2. Program Summary – Once they've settled in the program, mentors and mentees will be required to provide a short written summary of their experiences. This will provide future participants with examples of what the program entails and will provide feedback on the program so APPAM can improve upon it in the future. Participants will be asked how the program helped them in their career, what they learned, and why they chose to participate in the program.

Additional Information, Helpful Tips & Guidelines

  • Mentee must make initial contact with mentor within one week of matching.
  • Mentor must respond to mentee within one week of initial contact.
  • Mentors and mentees are strongly encouraged to check-in at least once each quarter between summer/fall 2021 and spring/summer 2022 as well as make yourself available and respond in a timely manner.
  • Be respectful of your mentor’s/mentee’s existing time commitments.
  • Respect your mentor/mentee, including their identity including race, ethnicity, gender, and gender expression, age, visible and non-visible disability, nationality, sexual orientation, citizenship status, veteran status, religious/non-religious, spiritual, or political beliefs, socio-economic class, or any of the other differences among people.
  • Mentor agrees they are a professional working in the field of public policy, public affairs, and/or management.
  • Mentee agrees they are a APPAM student member enrolled in a policy related degree program at an institution of higher education.
  • Upon First Meeting: Agree on goals for the mentoring relationship during the first meeting between mentor and mentee and put them in writing and set expectations in terms of how often, when, and where to meet.
  • Have a question? We have answers! Email Ryan Martz at