Mentor A Planning Student (MAPS) was launched in 2012 as a way to help students in graduate level planning programs gain a greater understanding of planning as a profession.
The goals of MAPS are:
- to expose students to the actual work environments, responsibilities and interactions of professional planning positions in Florida
- to bring students into a mentor relationship with a practicing public or private sector planner in their region;
- to help planning students begin to develop their professional career networks;
- further facilitate the relationship between university planning programs, APA Florida, sections and planning professionals
MAPS is not intended to be an internship program – rather it is a mentoring program which pairs an experience planner with a first year planning student. The structure for each mentoring experience is flexible but there are some minimum requirements that must be met.
Minimum Requirements for each Mentor and Student:
- MAPS mentor volunteers are sought at the start of each fall semester to begin their mentoring roles by October.
- At least two shadowing experiences :
- A day at the office (this can be broken into a couple of smaller time blocks as long as the student is exposed to the longer term duties of the mentor)
- A day in the field working on a project with a client/constituency
- Resume review by the mentor
- Completion of an evaluation report on the mentoring experience (both mentors and students)
- Upon request by student, the mentor will write a letter of recommendation but only if the mentor agrees to do so
- No formal activities after first year, but participants encouraged to continue in an informal relationship if doing so seems fruitful to the mentor and student
MAPS mentors provide their student mentees with at least two shadowing experiences, resume review, and professional development counseling. Each year, the MAPS program typically begins in October and culminates at the end of April.
MAPS programs are offered at Florida State University through the Capital Area Section and the University of South Florida through the APA Florida Sun Coast Section.