Tips for Mentees

Initiate

In order to sustain the mentoring relationship, take the initiative to ask your mentor a question, to let him or her know your educational and professional interests and objectives, and to ask about his/her own experiences.

Honor your commitment

As a psychologist, your mentor probably has a very demanding job. He or she has volunteered to take on the added responsibility of mentoring. Please be appreciative of his or her time and investment; respond in a timely manner to your mentor's questions and comments. If you don't have the time to respond at the time, send a short message letting him or her know you will be in contact when you have the opportunity.

Expect support, not miracles

You can expect a certain level of support and advice from a mentor, but he or she can't solve your problems for you. Perhaps the most valuable quality a mentor can offer is perspective. A mentor can put the situation in perspective, offer feedback, serve as a sounding board, and identify resources that may be helpful to you.

Communicate clearly

Initiate contact with your mentor if you have questions or need to discuss something. Identify your needs and communicate them as clearly as possible to your mentor. It may be helpful to put some focused energy into organizing your thoughts and concerns before talking to your mentor, so that the time is spent wisely.

Be teachable

Be willing to learn new things, obtain another perspective, be responsive to suggestions and constructive criticism.

Evaluation of the program

To evaluate and improve the mentoring program, we will be asking you periodically to answer questions about the program. These questionnaires will not take up much time. Your responses are crucial in shaping the future of our program.

The primary characteristics of successful mentees include the ability and willingness to:

  • Clearly articulate personal and professional needs
  • Assume responsibility for your own professional growth and development
  • Listen both to what is being said and how it is being said
  • Establish goals and make decisions to achieve those goals
  • Spend time reflecting on your achievements
  • Be receptive to constructive feedback

Tips for Mentees were developed with the aid of the following resources:

Ambrose, Susan A. et al., (1997). Journeys of Women in Science and Engineering: No Universal Constants. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Muller, Carol B., (1997). Mentoring along the Career Track in the Twenty-First Century: Mentoring and Mentors for Students. A Report Prepared for Dartmouth College.