Alumni Network

What is Mentorship?


What is a Mentor?

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...

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Maya Angelou
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.

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.

Mentee's responsibilities

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.

Flash Mentorship refers to quick, one-time meetings between a mentee and a mentor, in which the mentee can ask about the mentor's experience and advice.

You can use flash mentorship connections for:

  • Informational interviews
  • General networking

You can engage in Flash Mentoring on the Explore the Community page of your platform. Typically, you'll be able to either send a message or send a message and request a meeting from there.

How Flash Mentoring Works

  • Typically, mentees will browse through potential mentors, find someone they're interested in, and reach out. Mentors can accept or decline requests. Mentee and mentor can connect via video call, phone call, in person, or just via email conversations.
  • The first step is to see who's available for flash connections and find someone whom you think you could learn from! You can do all this from the Explore the Community tab.
  • Once you’ve found a promising connection, it’s time to initiate the connection. It's important to make a compelling ask and a great first impression!
  • Did someone reach out to you? Congrats! Review their profile, accept or reject their request, reschedule a meeting, and more...
  • You can manage connections from your platform inbox and prep for your flash meeting with your mentor/mentee. 

Responsibilities and best practices

Wondering what responsibilities you have as a flash mentee or mentor? We'll go over those and some best practices below.

Best practices for mentees:

  • Be curious - Whether you're selecting a mentor or prepping for your first meeting, think about what you want to learn from the mentor.
  • Respect your mentor's time - Be on time for the meeting, and make things as easy as possible for the mentor in terms of scheduling and logistics.
  • Don't ask for a job - Ask for advice and about your mentor's experience instead!

Best practices for mentors:

  • Be patient - some mentees may not have done information interviews or networking before.
  • Meet your mentee where they're at - mentees may be at different stages in their education or career.

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