Start off this year’s THE Performance Improvement Conference with the fourth annual Emerging Professionals Speed Mentoring Session. Meet with dedicated ISPI professionals who will answer your questions, introduce you to other experts in the field, and help orient you through the conference.

The Emerging Professionals Speed Mentoring Session takes place Friday, April 20, from 3:00-5:00 pm. Reservations are required to participate; RSVP to info@ispi.org to reserve your spot. This event is limited to emerging talent and young professionals who are registered for the conference.

Kenisha Thompson, MEd, president of Keni Consulting, LLC, offers some valuable pointers and encouragement to the up-and-coming professionals who have signed up for this year’s Speed Mentoring Session, as well as those who have not signed up yet.

What advice would you give to people attending the Speed Mentoring Session?

Prepare! Prior to the conference, a packet is sent to all registered attendees providing a brief bio on all the available mentors. Review the bios and highlight a few of the mentors who have work or research interests that align with your own. Be sure to research the mentors with whom you are not familiar. Make a list of possible questions for each of the mentors based on your professional goals.

What are the benefits you enjoyed as a result of the Speed Mentoring Session?

I enjoyed one-on-one time with some of the leaders in our field and the opportunity to establish follow-up communication with them. I liken the Speed Mentoring Session to an individual professional consultation; the advice from the mentors helped point me in the right direction to move forward with my career. The Speed Mentoring Session provided guidance from experienced professionals who have “been there, done that.”

How did the guidance you received at the Speed Mentoring Session affect your career?

Speaking with the mentors validated some of the work and research interests I wanted to pursue and gave me the confidence to act on those interests. They also gave me solid advice on references, resources, and possible plans of action, which were invaluable in creating my own action plan.

What would you say to someone who is debating whether or not to attend the Speed Mentoring Session?

Although I enjoyed the presentations and workshops at the conference, the Speed Mentoring Session was about my personal interests as a practitioner. The words of wisdom I received helped me establish a framework for my career, and also helped me choose the workshops I attended for the remainder of the conference. It is extremely encouraging to know the mentors want to help and support the practitioners of tomorrow. Take advantage!