Following are guidelines that will help you to have a successful mentoring partnership.

Maintain regular contact

Mentors and mentees should commit to speaking a minimum of twice a month during the mentoring cycle.  Although email is an important tool in distance mentoring, it cannot be substituted for actual, real-time conversation.  Conversations may occur over the phone, via Skype (or similar software), and/or in person when possible. 

Set clear and realistic goals. 

At the start of a mentoring partnership, mentors and mentees will have a conversation that addresses goals for both the mentor and mentee. 

Be responsive. 

Both mentors and mentees are expected to return calls and e-mails in a timely manner (e.g. within two business days).

Receive feedback.

It is important that mentees be open to receiving feedback that is candid and delivered in a thoughtful and constructive way.  If necessary, your mentor will help you learn how to receive and respond to feedback by modeling the behavior through open discussion.

Participate in self-reflection and self-development. 

Expect thought-provoking questions designed to help you understand and articulate your motivations, accomplishments, weaknesses, etc. 

Honor commitments.

If a mentoring conversation must be cancelled, it is expected that you and your mentor will do your best to communicate in advance of the meeting and reschedule.  If you decide to remove yourself from the program, it is expected that you will honor partnerships in progress.  If circumstances prohibit you or your mentor from participating in the program prior to the end of a term, each party must agree to notify their mentoring partner and thethe Pathways administrators.


At the end of each semester, both participants will be required to complete an evaluation form.

*Note: Mentors are not expected to offer internships or jobs.


Commitment Self Check

Although mentoring appears to be an easy way to grow your personal and professional skill set and also expand your network, it should not be entered into lightly.  Participating in a mentoring relationship requires time, energy, and enthusiasm.  You will be required to:

  • Request a mentor and initiate contact
  • Schedule and commit to regular meetings with your mentor
  • Receive feedback and participate in self-reflection
  • Maintain regular contact, be responsive, and follow through with assignments

After careful consideration, you may find that mentoring is not right for you or that you do not have the time to invest at the moment.  If this is the case, it is far better to make that decision now than to back out of a mentoring relationship after a mentor has invested time and energy into you.  Remember that first-years through seniors are able to participate in the program as mentees in the fall, spring, or summer terms.   Although you may not be able to engage in the program now, you may want to consider participating at a later date.  If you are ready to participate, you will be expected to meet the expectations outlined for Pathways.