About the program

This career development initiative involves one-on-one mentorship matching between planners in various stages of their careers (“Mentees”) and experienced professionals (“Mentors”). The program aims to improve the professional practice of planning by benefiting individual practitioners at all experience levels.


  • Program Enrollment: October 2023
  • Matching & Emails Sent: February 2024
  • 1st Mentor-Mentee Meeting: February/March 2024
  • 2nd Mentor-Mentee Meeting: March/April 2024
  • 3rd Mentor-Mentee Meeting: May/June 2024
  • Additional Meetings: anytime throughout the year (optional)
  • Closing of Program and Feedback Survey: June 2024


If you have any questions, please contact Ellen Yau, Mentorship Director at mentorship@norcalapa.org.


This opportunity is available to all planning students and professionals. Our goal is to provide adequate structure to facilitate meaningful relationships, while maximizing flexibility to meet the professional interests and schedules of participants.  Each Mentor and Mentee pair is welcome to customize the program to meet individual needs.

  • Participants engage in one-on-one Mentor and Mentoree matching, which involves a minimum commitment of three meetings from Feburary 2024 to June 2024.
  • Handouts and e-mail templates will be emailed to participants to facilitate introductions, initiate talking points, and share professional development resources.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?

Strength to Love by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Program expectations


  • Professionals with at least 3 years of work experience in any planning discipline.
  • Each Mentor will be assigned one Mentee. If additional Mentors are needed, participants will be individually asked if willing to advise more than one.
  • Minimum commitment of 3 meetings with Mentee between Feburary 2024 to June 2024..
  • APA membership is not required.


  • Students and young professionals with less than 3 years of work experience in any planning discipline or mid-career professionals with less than 10-years of experience.
  • Minimum commitment of 3 meetings with Mentor between February 2024 to June 2024.
  • Applicants are not guaranteed to receive a Mentor, but we are actively recruiting a large group of participants. Priority matching will be given to second-year graduate students, recent graduates, and mid-career professionals.
  • APA membership is required (free for qualified students and discounted rates for qualified new members). You can register to be a Mentee today, but are required to become a member once matched. Please visit the Membership page for additional information.

Materials & handouts

Meeting #1 guidelines

We’re glad you are involved with the Northern Section’s mentorship program, but as you navigate the Planning World know that resources stretch from your local chapter to the national level. Check out National APA’s resources here.

Sample activities

The level of engagement for each of the three Mentor-Mentee meetings can be as simple or involved as time and interest permit. For each meeting, activities may include:

  • Joint attendance at a public meeting
  • Résumé and portfolio critique
  • Mock interview
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