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Mentorship Program Checklist for Students

  • Contact your mentor within one week of selection to introduce yourself and set up a time to speak with him or her.
  • Express appreciation for your mentor's participation in the program and outline your hopes for the mentoring relationship.
  • Know your goals for your mentor relationship.
    • Before selecting your mentor, take time time to consider what your intentions are for this relationship.
    • Consider your career goals and how your mentor would help with your professional development.
    • Discuss these objectives with your mentor from the very beginning.
  • Introduce yourself—make sure your mentor knows your educational and professional background. Remember that this relationship is intended to provide support and guidance. Mentors are not expected to directly assist in your job search by providing an introduction to their current or former employers, or by networking on your behalf. This may happen as a natural part of the process, but it should not be the main focus.
  • Be prepared and professional during meetings with your mentor.
  • Treat your interactions like professional meetings.
  • Address your mentor by his or her formal name unless s/he advises you otherwise.
  • Take the time to proofread emails and all other forms of written communication between the two of you.
  • Ask productive, open-ended questions of your mentor.
  • Share these questions with your mentor and make specific requests for the kind of guidance you need.
  • Take responsibility for your mentor-mentee relationship. If you feel your mentor is unable to provide a certain level of insight that you desire about a certain position or industry, ask if your mentor has anyone else that he or she might recommend having you contact.
  • Communicate on time and in a professional manner. Respond to your mentor within 48 hours of being contacted. If you must cancel a meeting, provide 24 hours of notice.
  • Keep communication open. Reach out to your mentor on a regular basis.
  • Continually evaluate how this relationship is supporting your goals and don’t be afraid to make adjustments with your mentor.
  • If you find that you would like to conclude your mentoring relationship please be sure to let your mentor know. Handling the situation in an upfront and clear fashion can make a potentially awkward situation clear and productive. Thank the mentor for the guidance and support and let them know how the relationship has benefitted you. Remember that ending the formal mentor relationship does not mean that you have to completely sever ties with the person. You can suggest to continue informal contact in the future.

Sources include: Stanford Alumni Mentoring