Exploration

Five Ways to Make the Most Out of Mentorship

Having a mentor is a great way to build your network and receive valuable guidance. Mentors can be found through formal mentoring programs or sometimes develop through a connection you have made while networking, in your classes, or at a job or internship. To learn how to find a mentor check out What’s the Right Way to Find a Mentor?. Once you have a mentorship meeting set up, follow these tips to make the most of the relationship:

1. Learn about your mentor before you meet.

Whether you are assigned a mentor through a program or are reaching out to someone new for the first time, you should do some research about their background. You can do this by visiting their Eagle Exchange or LinkedIn profile, or even Googling their name to see if they have written any articles or received any prestigious awards. This will help you ask good, educated questions when you meet.

2. Which leads to… ask good questions!

Being prepared with thoughtful questions shows your mentor that you are invested in your relationship and eager to learn. Visit 25 Questions to Ask a Mentor and Questions to Ask During an Informational Interview for some sample questions.

3. Set meeting expectations.

At the start of your relationship it can be helpful to set expectations about how and when you will meet. It’s likely that your mentor has a busy schedule, so planning your meetings out ahead of time will ensure you connect regularly.

4. Identify what you want to learn.

Don’t be afraid to share what you are hoping to learn or gain from your mentor. You can even set goals together! To learn more about how to set goals as a mentee read the 5-Step Guide to Setting Mentee Goals and Objectives. Your mentor can provide encouragement and guidance, but remember you are the one who needs to put in the work to achieve your goals.

5. Be curious and open.

Your mentor has a lot of valuable information to share. Even if you discover that you’re interested in an industry other than your mentor’s, you can still gain valuable insights. Consider topics like identity in the workplace, handling conflict, how to build skills, and learning more about how you may be perceived by others.

Looking for additional tips? Visit 6 Expert Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Mentorship.

If you are looking for professionals to connect with, consider reaching out to alumni on Eagle Exchange.

—By Salome Miclette, Assistant Director, Career Education

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