Best Practices for Mentees

Show initiative. The mentee should take responsibility for being the main driver of the relationship. Set an agenda for your meetings to stay on track and get your questions answered. Mentors expect you to ask insightful questions that you cannot find answers to online or elsewhere. Please keep your goals in mind during each meeting. Working toward the goals is critical to the success of any mentorship relationship.

Be grateful. Thank your mentor for their time. Respect your mentor’s time commitment. Arrive to all meetings on time and keep your emails concise. 

Follow up. Let your mentor know what resulted from your conversation and how their advice worked out. Thank them for putting you in touch with someone. 

Stay positive. Try to stay positive and professional when discussing difficult co-workers or situations.

Avoid transactional exchanges. Most of your time with your mentor will be spent receiving feedback concerning your goals. However, remember that your mentor should enjoy connecting with you, so take the time to listen to their stories and be authentic.

Prior to your first meeting:

  • Review your mentor’s CV. Become familiar with their career path and expertise.

  • Reflect on your goals. What are your goals for what you want to get out of this relationship? What do you need and expect from your mentor to help achieve these goals? 

  • Bring questions. Write out a list of questions related to your goals or your plan of action.

  • Have an agenda. At the start of each meeting, tell your mentor about the items you would like to cover. This will keep you on track and anchor you to your goals.

  • Have a good time. Relax and enjoy yourself. Your mentor has volunteered their time because they want to help you.

Consider becoming a mentor. Any faculty, of any academic rank, can serve as mentors. Remember, you can be both a mentor and a mentee at the same time!