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Thursday, March 12, 2015

ISA Mentor Program is Good Karma

Marian R. Aubry, ISA CAPP
By Marian Aubry, ISA CAPP

Have you heard of ISA’s Mentor Program? In this unique program, seasoned appraisers agree to help a newly minted appraiser fill in the skill gaps or get a leg up in the process of credentialing. And best of all, it’s free! Although congeniality and collegiality have always been the hallmarks of an ISA appraiser, the Mentor Program makes certain everyone feels the love. No other appraisal organization offers this type of program, and it's another instance of ISA leading the way in the industry.

Here’s how it works: A mentor is paired with a mentee who has similar interests. Simple as that. If you are Fine Art member, you will be linked with a Fine Art Mentor. Speaking the same language is not only helpful but is also a great way to make contacts in the field, which can prove to be a real benefit to a new appraiser. The mentor provides guidance and advice, helps the mentee navigate the tasks involved in moving through the credentialing process and can address any lingering questions that the mentee may have.

For the mentee, this is one-on-one support from an appraisal professional. For the mentor, it’s good karma (what goes around comes around). As every teacher knows, the rewards of mentoring are pretty satisfying, and it can serve as a great way in which to cement your own skills.

There are, of course, some expectations that must be spelled out for both parties. For example, the Mentor-Mentee Program isn’t about developing a business model for the new appraiser. For that, the mentee might need a business coach; the mentor may even have some recommendations for choosing one. The mentor’s job is to provide information and perspective, while suggesting ideas and strategies for accomplishing tasks that will allow the mentee to move to the next level on his or her credentialing path. Importantly, the connection between Mentor and Mentee is a limited offer. To be more specific, the program will last for three months, at which point an evaluation will take place, and the decision as to whether to move forward or move on can be made.

Our current list of mentors reads like a Who’s Who directory of ISA CAPPs and Accredited Members. We have over 32 ISA members serving in a mentorship capacity. Most are paired with mentees right now; many of them have even more than one mentee! Clearly, these members appreciate the help that was given to them in the past and are willing to pay it forward. Now that’s good karma!

I urge you: Consider becoming a Mentor. It’s a limited-time program, one with specific rules to ensure that your volunteered time as an appraisal professional is not abused. For anyone seeking mentorship, I urge you to take advantage of this program. After all, it's free - and there are plenty of prospective mentors who are eager to address your unanswered questions.

Visit the ISA Mentor Program page for more information and to enroll in the program.

Marian Aubry, ISA CAPP
Board Director

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