The stages of entrepreneur guidance and mentoring

In apprenticeship training, the mentoring relationship lasts about 1½ years. From the choice of mentor, the guidance process proceeds based on the following stages.

Preparation

The mentor and student should familiarise themselves with the criteria for the student’s qualification, the vocational skill requirements described in them and the timetable plan and themes of information-centred training provided by the college, according to which theory training will proceed.

At the initial meetings, you will get to know each other and, as a mentor, you will learn about the entrepreneur you are guiding and the operations of his/her company.

On-the-job training plan

The on-the-job training plan is part of apprenticeship training, and is made at the start of studies together with the student and a representative of the apprenticeship office. It is also good if the mentor takes part in making the plan.

The plan maps the current skills and learning needs of the student entrepreneur, reflected in the selected qualification. At the same time, a plan is also made of the skills that can be strengthened by working with the mentor. The plans are made so that the information-centred studies and on-the-job training complement each other in the best possible way.

Guidance meetings and guidance plan

The most important function of the first guidance meeting is to make a ohjaussuunnitelma, in which you agree on, among other things:

  • the roles of the mentor and the student entrepreneur
  • the objectives that you want to work on with your mentor
  • regular guidance meetings and the timetables for them
  • assessment timetables for apprenticeship training.

At the guidance meetings, you will deal with, among other things:

  • new matters that have come out in information-centred training and how they can be applied to your business
  • questions concerning development functions
  • topical themes raised by the entrepreneur
  • other learning needs.

How often can I meet my mentor?

It is your responsibility to keep in touch with your mentor. You will meet at intervals of 4-6 weeks or based on your training objectives and needs. In between meetings, you should call or e-mail your mentor.

You should agree in advance on the content of each guidance meeting. In addition to topical matters, you can also deal with, for example, questions you have presented in advance, which your mentor can familiarise him/herself with before you meet.

At the end of the meeting, you will agree on a time for the next guidance meeting, as well as its objectives and topics. In communications between meetings, you can use, for example,  Google Drive, a closed Facebook group, Skype or e-mail.

The end of the guidance relationship

No mentoring relationship lasts forever. When it ends, you should agree on the following things:

  • Make a final assessment and assess what you have learned in relation to the objectives of your training and the qualification you have gained.
  • Assess the success of the guidance. You will receive feedback from your mentor.
  • Assess what you have gained from the information-centred learning.
  • Agree on how you will take your objectives forward independently once the mentoring relationship has ended.