What Is Speed Mentoring? And Why Is It Becoming Very Popular At PMI NYC?


By Jeff Furman

New York, USA

One of the most popular of the PMI NYC Chapter’s many offerings is its new “Speed Mentoring” program. The series was started by Suzan Cho, our chapter’s highly-driven VP of Outreach. Suzan had worked with a similar mentoring program at the company where she manages projects, and where she saw the benefits first-hand. So she generously gave her time and customized the program and rolled it out for PMI NYC.

As one of the volunteer mentors in the PMI NYC Speed Mentoring program, I wanted to share this concept with the readers of PM World Journal, to help other PMI Chapters and companies who might like to offer this format for their people.

Q.  What exactly is “Speed Mentoring?”

A.   A cousin of “speed networking,” but more than just networking. PMs come to the The attendees bring their questions to the events (about PM challenges, career search, etc.) which they pose to the mentors during the Q&A portion of the presentations. And then later, they get another chance to connect with the mentors and ask them more questions one-on-one, at a reception held after the presentations.

Speed Mentoring sessions for some guidance from Senior PMs who serve as mentors. And many of the mentors are also PM Instructors, so the events are held at universities such as NYU, where the mentors also teach their PM classes, as I do. The universities host the events, supplying the facilities, PCs, projectors, and more, and also co-sponsor them with the PMI NYC Chapter.

Q.  What are the logistics of a typical Speed Mentoring Night?

A.   Typically there are 10 mentors selected for each event. Each mentor prepares a presentation on topics such as: “Career Search In PM,” or “Interviewing Skills,” or “Using LinkedIn Strategically for Self-Marketing,” or “PM Opportunities in Health-Care.” Or sometimes there is an overarching theme for the evening, where each topic will be related to that theme. Each mentor is scheduled to give his/her presentation four times over the course of the evening, at 6:00, 6:30, 7:00, and 7:30 PM. Each presentation is scheduled for 25 minutes, including Q&A with the participants (and with a 5-minute break after each session). Each participant attends four sessions (given by four different mentors). A wrap-up and reception follows afterwards, where the attendees continue to network with each other.

They can also connect further with the mentors they met that night. The reception also offers the chance for the attendees to meet the other mentors, as well as the chapter leaders and university people who hosted the event.

Q.   How does Speed Mentoring benefit the “mentees?”


  • They meet several mentors who might help them further in the future.
  • They learn from the mentors’ presentations.
  • They get the questions they brought to the event answered personally by the mentors.
  • They meet new PMs and PM students.
  • PMI-certified PMs get 2 PDUs for attending the session.              

And as side-benefits:


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About the Author


pmwj38-Sep2015-Furman-PHOTOJeff Furman

New York, USA



Jeff Furman, PMP® is a highly experienced I.T. Project Manager and Project Management Instructor.

Jeff currently teaches six project management courses for NYU’s School of Professional Studies, and also teaches PMP Prep for the U.S. Army, on bases around the United States.

He has led many software projects for Fortune 100 firms in the NYC area. And for many years he managed a mission-critical I.T. change management system, which handled application changes 24 x 7 for a large brokerage in Manhattan.

The 2nd Edition of his book, “The Project Management Answer Book” was just published by Management Concepts Press in January, 2015