Share your expertise with those willing to learn!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What am I expected to do? Mentors are expected to provide their mentee with about one hour of support and interaction per month. Most of this interaction will take place via email and other web-related tools (for example, instant messaging) or face-to-face, as appropriate. Mentors should work with their mentee to determine what kind of support will be most useful—specific feedback related to networking, general career advice, information on higher studies, technical information, personal encouragement, and so on.
- How long will the commitment be? We ask our mentors to make commitments of at least six months in order to ensure that the mentee is able to fully benefit from the relationship. If a mentor must leave the relationship early, we request at least one month's notice in order to search for a replacement mentor with similar background.
- Are there any potential risks to me? No. It is not appropriate for mentors to engage in any business transactions with their mentees; instead, the relationship should only involve the flow of general information and advice.
- What should I do if my mentoring relationship isn't going well? We encourage letting the mentee know about the situation and contacting a program administrator as soon as possible. We will provide our full support to resolve the situation in a positive and satisfactory manner.
- Commit at least one interaction/hour of support per month.
- Set aside time for the mentoring process and honor all appointments.
- Invite the mentee to meetings or activities, as appropriate. Schedule meetings with planned topics.
- Be flexible on meeting times and places.
- Arrange frequent contacts through telephone, email, face-to-face, etc., as appropriate.
- Respond to emails from your mentee within two days of receipt.
- Keep information that your mentee has shared with you confidential. If something concerning the mentee needs to be discussed with others, it should first be discussed within the mentoring relationship.
- Establish open and honest communication and a forum for idea exchange.
- Foster creativity and independence. Help build self-confidence and offer encouragement.
- Provide honest and timely feedback to your mentee.
- Provide opportunities for the mentee to talk about concerns and ask questions.
- Above all, LISTEN.
- Try to give advice on everything.
- Encourage mentee to be totally dependent upon you.
- Provide your personal history, problems, animosities, successes, failures, etc., unless they are constructive contributions.
- Be too busy when the mentee needs your friendship or your support. If you do not have time, give the mentee a heads up, so that they know when they can reach you.