November 8, 2017  
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Putting the ‘Pro’ in ‘Protégé’

TAPPI’s ‘Mentor Match’ program is making a difference for young professionals in our industry. Should protégé enrollment be part of YOUR company’s onboarding experience?

Is your mill or company interested in strategies for retaining the best and brightest new hires? Building leadership skills, gaining process knowledge, and collecting sage advice are all benefits associated with having a mentor. Mentors can also help their protégés gain that almost intangible “feel for the industry” that can lead to higher job success and satisfaction—two keys to employee retention.

TAPPI’s Mentor Match, an online community created through TAPPI Connect, seeks to expand the mentoring opportunities in our industries for both potential mentors and potential “mentees”. The Mentor Match program unites Mentors and Protégés to share resources and experiences, while working together to achieve professional and personal goals.

“Most companies do not offer a formal mentoring program and TAPPI fills the void in that respect,” says Jessica Carette, TAPPI Connect Mentor and chief innovation R&D / innovation manager R&D at Cascades Inc. “Experienced industry professionals have a duty to pass on their ‘savoir faire’ and the Mentor Match program is a great place for newer professionals to build a network and benefit from this knowledge sharing platform.”

Defined enrollment periods help ensure timely and beneficial matches. The current enrollment window for Mentors ends today, Wednesday, November 8. The enrollment window for Protégés is now open, and will continue through Friday, November 24.

Making a Mentor Match
TAPPI Connect’s Mentor Match asks both parties fill out detailed profiles in order to find the best matches; it takes only a few minutes to complete the online application form. At the start of a mentor match, participants will join a kick-off call and then additional meetings will take place at set intervals to assure regular communication. Using the online application, Protégés complete a form that helps focus the mentorship period. TAPPI recommends that mentors and protégés spend one hour connecting each month.

Mentor Match is open to any current TAPPI member. Both Mentors and Protégés must apply, and are then matched-up to work together according to their needs, interests and talents. The mentoring takes place over the course of six months and can be extended to meet each team’s needs.

The online system means that matches don’t need to be local. Members from across the globe can easily communicate by whatever method works best for them: through TAPPI Connect, phone, Skype, or email.

During the application process, Protégés can view the Mentors available and reach out via email (outside the system) to find out if there is a mutual interest. TAPPI provides staff support to accommodate everyone; they suggest that Mentors have no more than three Protégés at a time to avoid work overload.

Mentor Match offers the flexibility and creativity for true professional development—something that TAPPI, as one of our industry’s leading professional associations, has been delivering to its members for a century. The program is part of a variety of efforts the association makes to support workforce development and knowledge sharing in the pulp, paper, and related industries.

While the benefits of being mentored are well-documented, it is important to remember that mentors themselves stand to gain. “I encourage anyone to join Mentor Match because it is beneficial to both parties. Any opportunity to widen your network and meet people with different experiences in a common industry should be welcomed with open arms. My advice for anyone thinking about joining Mentor Match is to seize the opportunity immediately,” says Carette.

Does your company, mill, or facility have new hires that could benefit from a mentoring relationship? Take advantage of the open enrollment window for TAPPI Mentor Match protégés. Feel free to forward this article to young professionals, or their supervisors, before November 24. To learn more about the Mentor Match program, visit


For a modest investment of $174, receive more than US$ 1000 in benefits in return.
Visit for more details.