How to be a Mentor or a Mentee

I have a mentor, now what do I do?

  1. Contact your mentor and thank them for “adopting” you! How do you contact them? If they’ve not given you specific contact information, use  LinkedIn to send a message. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, get one.
  2. Have some idea of what you’d like to learn from your mentor.
  3. Have a real conversation with your mentor. Not just texts or messages or emails. Try to have an actual conversation. We recommend live video Zooms so you can get to know one another. During the conversation, ask questions about how your mentor made it to their current position, even if they are still in college. How did they survive their first college years? What tips for success do they have? Can they help you dive deeper into your career goals? Share some of your hopes about what you want to gain from a mentor.

I have a mentee, now what do I do?

  1. If you are a current student, this will likely be the first time you’ve mentored someone, so it will be good for you to also have a professional mentor, someone who can give you ideas for how you’d like a mentor relationship to work.
  2. As a mentor, you job is to listen more than talk. Find out what your mentee may want out of a mentorship relationship. As you listen, you’ll know how to help.
  3. Don’t expect to be an expert on everything. You’ll likely be recommending that your mentee contact other resources. That’s part of what good mentors do: point mentees in the right direction.
  4. Be supportive.
  5. Be proactive in building the relationship. You’ll be showing those younger than you how to build strong business relationships. Many students won’t yet know how to do this, so don’t wait for your mentee to contact you. Plan to contact your mentee several times before a solid dialog begins.
  6. Share your experiences. Most students will want to see how someone survived what they are currently going through.
  7. Decide how much you’re willing to give in terms of your time and effort. Every mentor will be different. What works for you is what’s best for the mentee. You are driving much of the relationship.
  8. Contact Deb Toomey or Jacquie Lamer if you have any concerns about the mentorship process.