Suggestions for Mentors

The most effective mentorships occur when there is strong communication between the mentor and mentee. Listen closely to your mentee’s needs and encourage an active dialogue instead of offering a “one-time” solution. Maintaining an open-ended conversation with your mentee will keep the mentorship lively. Here are some sample questions that you can ask your mentor to jump start the mentorship:

Questions to Ask your Mentee:

  • Why did you sign up for What do you hope to gain from the experience?
  • How would you describe your experience as a college student so far?
  • Which classes are you currently taking?
  • Have you had any internships or jobs? If so, how were your experiences?
  • Why did you choose your major/field of study? What has been most rewarding and the most challenging?
  • What activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of school/work?
  • Have you ever had a mentor before? If so, how did that person influence your life?
  • What are some challenges you are facing in school and life in general?

Items to Share with your Mentee:

  • Describe what it was like for you as a student or early career professional. Is there anything you wish you had known then?
  • Describe why you want to be a mentor. What do you hope to achieve through the mentorship process?
  • Discuss a time when a mentor or teacher was especially helpful to you. What did that person do or say?
  • What are some positive experiences in your current job? Any negative experiences? What has been most rewarding and the most challenging?
  • Talk about your experience as a professional working in your particular industry. What do you like most/least about your current job?
  • Describe some of the challenges you’ve faced in your career and life in general. How did you address those challenges and what did you learn?
  • How you balance your career with the rest of your life?