Civic Initiative Mentor

Apply now Job no: 498060
Position type: Staff Full Time/Part-Time, Hourly
Campus: UMass President's Office
Department: UMDI - Civics Initiative
Categories: Administrative & Office Support
Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

Primary Work Location:

100 Venture Way, Hadley MA 01035

Normal Work Schedule:

Day-to-day schedules will vary depending upon the program, specifically with respect to both academic and cultural activities. Mentors are required to be present throughout the duration of the program to which they are assigned, this can vary between four to eight weeks. Mentors generally work around 40 hours each week, but these hours may not fall into the standard full-time work schedule.

Job Summary:

The University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute (UMDI) Civic Initiative (CI) business unit is dedicated to promoting democracy through education in both the U.S. and abroad. Select groups of students, scholars, and professionals from around the world come to the UMass Amherst campus and travel to other regional sites for various short term exchange programs. Programs are designed for attendees to improve their leadership skills, increase their subject knowledge, and learn about U.S. culture. Programs are based on engaging participants through active learning, integrating classroom readings, lectures, and discussions with community-based, collaborative projects that offer practical, real-life experience.

Mentors at UMDI CI provide administrative and organizational assistance to the program they are working. The position requires that mentors assist with the day-to-day functions of the program. This will include: transporting participants, supporting the academic director and program manager with administrative tasks and communication, and assisting with planning and organizing the schedule for each day. Mentors have a unique opportunity to work and live with participants from around the world. In addition to facilitating participants’ transition to the U.S and creating a positive environment for the participants during their time here, mentors are expected to be present and engaged with the participants throughout the course of the program. The mentors provide participants with the opportunity to learn more about American culture, norms, and discuss program content areas in an informal setting; similarly, mentors are able to learn about the participant’s home countries. This cross-cultural exchange represents an important aspect of the CI’s mission, by developing more substantive connections and understandings of different cultures, norms, and values.

Essential Functions:

The listing of Civic Initiative Mentor functions include, but are not limited to:

  • Drive the participants to activities and events (in one of the Civic Initiative’s rented vans).
  • Conduct work in a collegial environment where mentors are expected to maintain regular communication with supervising manager(s), program participants and fellow mentors.
  • Assist the program’s academic director with organizing daily activities, including events and outings.
  • Assist with event planning:
    • Small events may include an academic seminar or cultural event at a host’s house. Mentors might be expected to:
      • Coordinate with the host and academic director.
      • Confirm bookings and making reservations.
      • Ensure the space is set up appropriately, as well as clean up afterwards.
    • Larger events include events organized by the CI, or events one or more CI programs are attending. These events will require more preparation and coordination. There are many logistical and organizational aspects to such events, and it is the staff’s goal to ensure that such events run smoothly. Ideally, participants should not see all of the behind the scenes work that the mentors complete, as a result of superior coordination, organization, and planning. 
  • Assist with administrative and office tasks pertaining to the program such as printing, scanning, and copying.
  • Clean up and organize common areas in residence sites ensuring CI’s standards are maintained.
  • Mentors may be expected to travel with program participants on the academic study tour.


Other Functions:

  • Mentors will be expected to learn and understand the standard practices of the UMass ProCard Program and follow all related University ProCard Program policies.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience):

  • A Driver’s License is required for this position.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail and strong organizational skills required.
  • Ability to multi-task and work as a member of a team in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Ability to organize work priorities and work efficiently in relation to work quality and requested timelines.
  • Mentors must be developmentally, culturally, and linguistically responsive. This requires open-mindedness, patience, and cultural sensitivity. It is important that mentors keep in mind that participants often come from different ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, cultural, and political backgrounds. Not only should mentors be aware of this when interacting with participants in general, but also specifically within groups. There is significant diversity within each group. As such, each participant should be treated as an individual and each participant’s individuality should be acknowledged and respected.
  • Ability to work in the United States. University of Massachusetts will not sponsor Visas for this position.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience):

  • Experience in a leadership or mentorship role
  • Undergraduate student


Working Conditions:

  • Work environment is fast paced and can result in multiple interruptions and requests for assistance.
  • Work sites are varied and may include: program residence, classrooms, the UMDI CI office, and events at public and private locations. Mentors may lodge and work in various locations outside of MA (including, but not limited to: New York, Washington D.C.).
  • Must have the flexibility to travel on an as-needed basis within Massachusetts and in some instances outside of the Commonwealth to accompany program participants during site visits and study tour.
  • Some lifting of supplies and materials is required (up to 50lbs).
  • The physical/mental demands and work environment factors described above are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.


Additional Details:

  • This position is funded by grants and/or contracts, and is contingent upon funding.
  • No relocation assistance provided.
  • This is an hourly non-benefited position.
  • Any job offer within the President's Office is specifically conditioned upon the potential candidate consenting to and successfully completing a background review.
  • Up to 15 Civic Initiative Mentor positions may be filled.
  • Pay rate is $12.00/hour.


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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.