The Reilly Center understands that each mentoring relationship will be different, based on the needs and availability of the pair. We encourage each mentor and mentee to set their own boundaries, but offer the following in the way of preliminary advice:
- After your initial, introductory communication, decide on any specific goals and expectations you have for your relationship.
- Offer information about your career history and the decision-making processes you went through, particularly specific skills or training that have made your career successful.
- Share things that you wish you had known before graduation.
- Be honest with your mentee. Offer guidance on career choices as well as hurdles and professionalism. Remember, learning how to be professional is often not a part of the college curriculum.
- Help your mentee identify professional organizations that they may benefit from.
- Feel free to introduce your mentee to other professional colleagues, but know that this is not an expectation.
- You are welcome to communicate with your mentee in the way that works best for you. Often, the relationship will take place over e-mail. Sometimes pairs will talk on the phone. In some cases, pairs will agree to meet in person. All of these interactions are valuable to students. Some students will be hesitant to communicate outside of e-mail. Encourage them as you see fit.
- Mentees who are inexperienced with professional conduct may require extra guidance and patience. The informal nature of e-mail is often to blame. We will do our part to encourage students to be mindful of professional conduct, but please do make professional communication a part of your mentoring relationship as you see fit.
- We specifically tell our students that it is not your responsibility to help them find employment, internship, or other opportunities. You are welcome to make suggestions and share your knowledge as you see fit, but the Reilly Center has no expectation of the mentoring relationship becoming an employment service. Please let us know if you have any problems in this area.
- You are encouraged to get in touch with Jessica Baron at any time with questions, concerns, or feedback. We may e-mail you once or twice each year to collect data about your experiences in the program.
Resources for Mentors
Adviser, Teacher, Role Model, Friend: On Being a Mentor to Students in Science and Engineering
An online e-book from the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy.
Mentoring in Engineering
A short article exploring the challenges and rewards of being a mentor to an engineering students, hosted by the University of Wisconsin's College of Engineering.
Suggestions to Make Mentoring Work
A short list of tips from the University of Michigan College of Engineering.
Hosted by the National Society of Professional Engineers, this blog explores perspectives on mentoring and career development issues.