- What is a mentor?
- Mentee's responsibilities
- What a successful mentorship looks like
- How a typical long-term mentorship works
Understand what mentorship is, what your responsibilities will be as a mentor/mentee, and how to get started.
Your mentor is here to support you in your academic and professional development. For many of you, this is probably the first time you’ve had a mentor. Not to fear! This guide will serve as a crash course in knowing what to expect and how to get the most out of your mentorship.
To be a great mentor...
“In order to be a mentor, and an effective one, one must care. You must care. Know what you know and care about the person, care about what you know and care about the person you’re sharing with.”
- Maya Angelou
A mentor is...
- A trusted guide. Not everyone feels comfortable asking for help. Talk to your mentor about what you’re interested in learning and be honest about what you don’t know. Your mentor has tons of experience that they can share with you to apply to your own goals and life.
- Someone who will listen to you. Your mentor is here to learn about what you need and how their experiences can help you thrive in your academics and career.
- Someone who will help you explore opportunities. Expand your community and use this relationship to learn from others. Your mentor can introduce you to new concepts and new ways to think about what you’d like to accomplish.
- Someone who will have good ideas about how to deal with difficult situations. Your mentor has been there and done that. Talk about challenges you’re facing and how you could apply solutions to keep moving forward.
The responsibilities of a mentee are simple: have a desire to learn and continue to develop professionally.
Below are a few guidelines to help mentees put their best self forward during interactions with their mentor.
- Clarify how you will communicate. Be open about how you will communicate and set expectations for what traits are important to you in a mentor. Does your mentor prefer texts, phone calls, or emails?
- Prepare for your meetings and conversations. Make sure you follow-through on commitments you made last time you met. Make a list of questions that you want to ask in advance. This lets your mentor know that you are taking their time (and the relationship) seriously.
- Learn from the whole person. Even if you want your mentors to help with some very specific things, never forget that you can learn so much more if you pay attention to all of the things that make them the person they are.
Long-term mentorships can take all forms! Understand what the possibilities are to better structure your own perfect mentorship...
Mentee Spotlight: Kaylee Nguyen
Unsure what a long-term mentorship could look like for you?
From the beginning, she knew pretty much exactly what she wanted to get out of her mentorship: a long-term mentor whom she could meet with regularly to discuss her career path during her senior year of college.
We chatted with Kaylee about how she went about first choosing such a mentor and then working with him to structure the mentorship around their shared (and some divergent) goals and expectations — and how her expectations of what a successful mentorship looked like expanded as a result.
A long-term mentorship refers to a mentor and a mentee who meet regularly a specified period of time (typically over the course of a quarter or semester).
To participate in a long-term mentorship, you'll need to join a mentoring program, where you'll be matched with a mentor/mentee by your program admin (in some cases, you may be able to choose your own mentor/be selected by a mentee if you're a mentor).
Join a mentoring program
Learn how to browse and join a mentoring program. Once you've joined, you'll be able to participate in program discussions, browse resources, and register for events.
- Learn more: Participating in a mentoring program
[Mentees only] Find a mentor
If you're a mentee, learn how to browse and favorite potential mentors. Depending on how your program is set up, you may even be able to reach out directly.
- Learn more: Connect with a mentor
Prep for your first meeting
Already matched with a mentor/mentee? Prep for your first meeting and learn how to access the tools in your Mentorship Hub.
Define structure and goals
Once you've got things started, it's important to think about how you want to structure your mentorship, set goals, and be aware of best practices as your mentorship progresses.
- Learn more: Building the relationship
How to conclude the mentorship
As your mentorship draws to an end, think about if you and your mentor should stay in touch, remember to say thanks, and more!
- Learn more: Concluding the mentorship and staying in touch