Tips for Jump-Starting Your Relationship

The first few weeks are crucial in establishing a strong foundation for your relationship. The mentee will be prepared to drive your meetings, but here are a few tips to help both of you benefit from a successful mentor relationship:

  • Discuss career paths from both sides:
    • Share your past experiences, successes and career path with your mentee
    • Talk about your mentees coursework or other career-related experiences
    • Discuss career exploration and the benefits of internship experience in career development
  • Be available. Convene, engage in conversation and listen to your mentee.
  • Challenge them! Think about asking open-ended questions that broaden their thinking and lead to discussion. And don’t be afraid to give your mentee assignments to prepare for your next meeting together.
  • Provide honest feedback. Your ideas and advice are invaluable!
  • Learn about your mentee’s background: talk about majors, families and areas of interest along with sharing some of your own experiences. Take the time to get to know each other better and use your personal stories to teach.
  • Put first things first – Ask for your mentor’s feedback about burning career questions, difficult choices, or current challenges you face.
  • Think win/win – Explore ways you can help one another. Listen for information about your mentor’s hobbies or charities and causes he or she supports. Learning about your mentor's priorities will broaden your understanding of your mentor and deepen your relationship.
  • Seek first to understand, then to be understood – Always remember to listen! Be open to learn things you did not expect.
  • Find your voice and inspire others. Discuss and share what you’ve learned from your mentor with others; this will deepen your understanding of the lessons as well. Keep the mentoring lifecycle going!
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