Mentor Match

Meet your Match

TAPPI Connect's Mentor Match unites mentors and protégés to share resources and experiences while working together to achieve professional and personal goals. Mentor Match will offer flexibility and creativity for better professional development.

Join us for our first-ever Mentor Match Mixer!

The YP Division will be hosting a networking event to help match mentors with protégés on Thursday, May 20th at 1PM EDT. This free, one-hour networking event will give YP's an opportunity to learn more about the Mentor Match program, and meet some active mentors that are ready to take on protegés! If you're interested in joining us for this event, register below to secure your spot! 


Why Participate in Mentor Match?

Participating in a mentorship program offers a variety of benefits for both the mentor and the protégé. 

Benefits of being a Mentor

  • Reinforce and expand your knowledge 
  • Exercise your problem solving and leadership skills
  • Gain a sense of satisfaction knowing you are helping to shape and influence the next generation of the paper, pulp, and packaging workforce

Benefits of being a Protégé

  • Expand industry knowledge or soft skills
  • Gain valuable advice from a more experienced person
  • Build your professional network
"Finding a mentor through TAPPI Connect has been a game-changer for me. Books, seminars, training courses, and search engines are all great resources to gain knowledge from, but they can't celebrate your wins with you or guide you through situations in real-time with wisdom you can only get through lived experiences. My mentor's support, guidance, and cheerleading have been instrumental in my personal and professional growth."
- Jessi Spadaccino, protégé since 2019.

Mentor Match Program Requirements

Mentors must...

  • have strong communication skills, the ability to problem-solve, and should be reasonably accessible and flexible for the duration of the program
  • have a minimum of 1 year of experience working in the paper, pulp, and packaging industry 
  • commit to an agreed-upon schedule for meeting with their Protégé
  • provide guidance and assistance through project-based, career-oriented, and/or volunteer mentorship
  • take on no more than 2-3 TAPPI Protégés at one time

Protégés must...

  • be goal-oriented, motivated, and willing to listen and learn
  • be the ones to facilitate the partnership and reach out to Mentors
  • establish clear objectives for the mentor/protégé relationship
  • commit to an agreed-upon schedule
  • only have one TAPPI mentor at a time

Getting Started is Easy (and Free)!

Once you have reviewed the program requirements above and are ready to participate in the Mentor Match program, follow the simple steps below to get started. 

1. Sign up for TAPPI CONNECT (you do not need to be an active member of TAPPI to register for a TAPPI CONNECT account). 

2. Submit an application through TAPPI Connect as either a mentor or a protégé. Fill out the application and your regular Connect profile with as much information as possible in order to increase your chances of finding a great match. 

3. Once the application is submitted, you will be added to the appropriate directory on TAPPI Connect. You can then view and sort through profiles to find a TAPPI mentor or protégé. 

4. When you find someone you are interested in working with, you can then reach out to find out if there is mutual interest by using the "Send me a Request" buttons on their profile. 

5. Wait for a response! TAPPI aims to keep the mentor and protégé profiles and statuses updated, but if you don't hear back from your prospect in a timely manner, feel free to reach out to others in the directory. 

Need more help getting started with Mentor Match? Watch this tutorial video. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Who can participate in Mentor Match?

Mentor Match is open to any current TAPPI member or nonmember. You must be logged in to participate. If you don't already have a Connect login, you can register.


What is the time commitment for the Mentor Match program? 

TAPPI recommends that a mentor meet with their protégé one hour per month for one year, however, it is up to each mentor and protégé pair to decide how frequently and how long the partnership will last.


What is a mentor?

A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser within a TAPPI associated industry who will support a protégé through achieving a professional or personal goal. The mentor will share and receive resources, advice, and teachings with a protégé.


What qualities does a good mentor have? 

Years of training or experience don’t necessarily define a good mentor. Look for the following qualities when interviewing mentor candidates, or when considering becoming a mentor: 

  • Strong Communicator 
  • Reasonably Accessible
  • Trustworthy
  • Motivational/Goal-Oriented
  • Open-Minded/Teachable


What is a protégé?

A protégé in TAPPI's Mentor Match program is a professional of any experience level or age who is seeking additional career support and guidance from an industry professional (mentor) with more experience. 


How can I get the most out of being a protégé?

We have found that protégés with clear goals, a willingness to learn, a positive attitude, motivation to succeed, and an open mind get the most out of mentorship programs.


If I am enrolled as a protégé in the program, can I also mentor?

Yes. Mentors are encouraged to be protégés and protégés are encouraged to mentor as long as the individual meets all of the program requirements. 


When can I sign up?

Mentors and protégés can signup anytime! The program is now open ALL year-round. 


What can participants expect?

At the start of a Mentor Match, participants will need to watch the Mentor Match Process Video, apply as either a mentor or protégé using the online application. This application adds you to the system and allows you to focus on your needs. After filling out an application you can search for your mentor/protégé using the online directory. We recommend that mentors and protégés spend one hour connecting each month. The mentoring will take place over the course of 1 year but can be adjusted to meet each team’s needs.


Does a match have to be local?

No. Thanks to TAPPI Connect, members from across the globe can easily communicate by whatever method works best for them: through TAPPI Connect, phone, video conferencing software, or email.


What if my Match doesn't work out?

No problem. If you and your match decide not to continue, you can reach out to another mentor/protégé of your choice by selecting the 'Click Here to send me a request button on their profile.  


Can I match again once my mentor/protégé relationship is done?

Yes! All you have to do is search the online directory again and you can match with another individual that is a part of the program. Protégés are also encouraged to become mentors once they meet all of the Mentor Match program requirements. 

Ready to Participate? Apply now!