Developing a mentoring partnership is like establishing a valued human relationship.

Similar to other human relationships you should have genuine desire to understand the values and expectations of the other person.

It is helpful to look at a student mentee as:

  • Someone new to the university, the program department or specific field.
  • Someone who is exploring opportunities for self enhancement.
  • Someone who wants to do well in university.
  • Someone who has valuable experience that you can also learn from.
  • Someone who is interested in learning and growing.
  • Someone, like us all, who needs social connection and community.

It is not helpful to look at the student mentee as:

  • Someone who needs overall changes in habit, behaviour and the way he or she thinks.
  • Someone who will come to you for all help all the time.
  • Someone who shares all your values and agrees with all the ways you think.  


Challenges in mentoring:

  • Making initial contact
  • Building trust and mutual respect
  • Trying to work with a student mentee and the student ends up dropping out of university.
  • Trying to build a friendship with someone if they are not wanting to participate in the mentorship program.