Keys to Successful Mentoring
• Mutual respect
• Trust and confidentiality
• Commitment to the relationship
• Willingness to learn
• Established, and common vision
• Maintaining professionalism through interactions
What to Keep in Mind
• Mentoring is a dynamic and complex, often life-long, relationship. Choosing a
mentor can be one of the biggest decisions a graduate student can make.
• A mentor should be a good listener and non-judgmental.
• Mentors should ask logical questions that lead you to your own conclusions
instead of providing you with answers.
• It is up to you to recognize which qualities you respect in a mentor.
• When looking for a job, be sure to ask the interviewer about the organization’s
philosophy on mentoring.
• It is okay to have cultural differences in mentor/mentee relationship.
• Keeping in contact with classmates from graduate school can be important in
creating co-mentoring groups among peers.
• Some of the most effective mentorships are non-directed, informal relationships.
Managing Your Expectations:
• Advisors don’t necessary make good mentors.
• Don’t try to emulate your mentor. Ultimately, the decisions you make are your
• Mentors may not cover all aspects of your life or serve every role.
• Be aware that hierarchy in a company/industry setting can make mentoring roles
• There is no such thing as a bad mentoring experience. Even a “bad” mentor helps
you to determine how you want to grow personally and professionally.