For mentoring to be successful, there must be a reciprocal, comfortable relationship between mentor and student. This takes time to build, but can be a positive experience for both parties.
Be proactive – if your mentor hasn’t responded to you in a while, don’t be shy about emailing or calling them again. They may have just gotten busy or missed your email.
Try to keep the contact consistent – ie, every couple of weeks. If there are long periods of time between your interactions, it may be easy to let the mentorship die altogether.
The First Conversation
Building rapport – get to know the mentor on a personal level
- What was your Ithaca experience like?
- How did you decide to major in ______?
- What was it like after graduating? What did you do?
- Did you do any special programs, like Study Abroad or Los Angeles?
- Find shared experiences – ICTV? WICB? Professors?
- What is your favorite Ithaca memory?
Share some of your experiences and goals for the future. How might the mentor help you achieve your goals?
Be appropriate in your requests.
And remember to say "Thank you!"
NOTE: Students should not expect mentors to find them jobs. It is inappropriate for students to ask for job placement assistance from mentors.