Tips for Mentees
1. Initiate. In order to sustain the mentoring relationship, take the initiative to ask your mentor a question, to let him or her know your educational and professional interests and objectives, and to ask about his/her own experiences.
2. Honor your commitment. Your mentor has volunteered to take on the added responsibility of mentoring. Please be appreciative of his or her time and investment; respond in a timely manner to your mentor’s questions and comments. If you don’t have the time to respond at the time, send a short message letting him or her know you will be in contact when you have the opportunity.
3. Expect Support, Not Miracles. You can expect a certain level of support and advice from a mentor, but he or she can’t solve your problems for you. Perhaps the most valuable quality a mentor can offer is perspective. A mentor can put the situation in perspective, offer feedback, serve as a sounding board, and identify resources that may be helpful to you.
4. Communicate clearly. Initiate contact with your mentor if you have questions or need to discuss something. Identify your needs and communicate them as clearly as possible to your mentor. It may be helpful to put some focused energy into organizing your thoughts and concerns before talking to your mentor, so that the time is spent wisely.
5. Be Teachable. Be willing to learn new things, obtain another perspective, and be responsive to suggestions.
Tips for Mentees were developed with the aid of the following resources:
Ambrose, Susan A. et al., (1997). Journeys of Women in Science and Engineering: No Universal Constants. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Muller, Carol B., (1997). Mentoring along the Career Track in the Twenty-First Century: Mentoring and Mentors for Students. A Report Prepared for Dartmouth College.
Have tips for mentees that you’d like to mention? Please comment here!