What is Mentoring?

The traditional mentoring relationship involves an experienced mentor cultivating a relationship with less experienced mentee or protégée primarily focused on the protégée’s academic, personal and/or professional development

A good mentor plays several roles in the life of a mentee. These include:

  • Guide
  • Advisor
  • Listener
  • Advocate
  • Teacher
  • Coach
  • Resource

Today, many schools, businesses, and other organizations offer formal and informal mentoring programs.

Formal mentoring programs tend to have very specific goals (i.e. to improve academic performance) and more structure and oversight. Program organizers match mentors and mentees on specific criteria. Guidelines for the relationship may be articulated in the form of a written agreement. These programs often require regular contact between pairs and reporting to program organizers for assessment.

Informal mentoring programs have less defined goals and little oversight and structure. Mentors and mentees may be matched based on some basic characteristics, but after the initial match, it is primarily up to the mentor and mentee to make the most of their relationship. Thus, the mentor and mentee generally create their own guidelines and standards

Benefits of Being a Mentor

  • Make a difference in someone’s life
  • Share your wisdom and experience
  • Enhance your own interpersonal skills
  • Develop a protégée that could take your place in the future
  • Contribute to a culture of investing in others
  • Connect with and learn from someone different than yourself

Benefits of Being Mentored

  • Acquire knowledge or insight in a particular area(s)
  • Receive personalized support, feedback and recognition
  • Explore/Discover an area(s) you may be interested in
  • Boost self-esteem and confidence
  • Expand your social and professional network
  • Learn from someone's mistakes
  • Connect with and learn from someone different than yourself