Helping Relationships that Differ from Mentoring

Mentoring can sometimes be used as a "catch all" term for several types of helping relationships. However, these relationships do not necessarily involve mentoring. Below are some helping roles sometimes associated with mentoring that are unique in their own right.

  • Academic Advisor: An academic advisor has specific expertise in the General Institute Requirements of the Institute and/or the requirements of a particular department. They track student academic progress and assist them in managing academic life at MIT, referring to outside resources where necessary.
  • Supervisor: A supervisor oversees work done by an employee on the job, providing feedback on job performance and areas of improvement and opportunities for development. Supervisors also hold employees accountable for the responsibilities elaborated in their job description.
  • Therapist/Counselor: A therapist or counselor is a mental health professional engaged in a formalized helping relationship with a client. They partner with the client using various therapeutic styles to address particular mental health issues that may impact the client’s daily functioning and overall wellbeing.