Mentoring at DU

What is Mentoring at DU?

Professional Mentoring is a key success factor that will help students reach their career development goals. The focus of Professional Mentoring is to provide opportunities for students to interact with alumni and other industry professionals to learn more about career paths they want to explore and what skills need to be developed to be successful in their area of interest.  The Career and Professional Development (CPD) staff will support students with a variety of resources and programming to help students explore, reflect and reach their career and professional development goals. Students will begin to learn what skills employers want and need from recent graduates.

Research has linked meaningful mentoring relationships during college with positive long-term outcomes for alumni after college — including higher well-being, employee engagement and more positive perceptions of their alma mater. We are hoping that mentors role model the giving of their time and talents as engaged alumni.

Professional Mentoring at DU

Types of Mentoring

Here are some of the key types of mentoring to consider when starting a program:

This is the traditional model of mentoring, where one mentor and one mentee agree to enter a mentoring relationship to help the mentee develop, improve, and achieve. In this type of mentoring, the mentor has more experience in an area that the mentee is interested in, and so can act as an advisor and guide.

Peer mentoring involves colleagues of a similar age and experience level mentoring each other. They may take turns acting as ‘mentor’ and ‘mentee’, but overall, peer mentoring is about creating a formal support system, learning together, and holding one another accountable.

This style of mentoring involves one mentor working with several mentees in a group. Group mentoring helps reach and impact more mentees in a short amount of time and is particularly useful if organizations are short on good mentors – helping to promote a culture of inclusion. Practicing mentoring in a group setting also helps improve everybody’s teamwork skills.

DU Professional Mentoring Handbook

Mentor/Mentee Mutual Expectations

Successful mentor-mentee relationships should be fulfilling and beneficial for all involved. Use these tips for a more effective and productive relationship:

Mentor: Help your mentee set realistic expectations. Also, if you know you will be unavailable because of business or personal travel, let them know.

Mentee: Be upfront. Let your mentor know what your goals are and what you hope to take away from the program.

Mentor: Encourage communication and participation. Help create a solid plan of action.

Mentee: Remember that your mentor is there for you but is only a guide.

Mentor: Help set up a system to measure achievement.

Mentee:  Review your goals. Make sure your mentor knows what to expect from you.

Mentor: Respond to your e-mails. Answer questions and provide advice, resources and guidance when appropriate.

Mentee: Be polite and courteous. Keep up with your e-mails and ask questions.

Mentor: Be truthful in your evaluations, but also be tactful.

Mentee: Let your mentor know if you don’t understand something or have a differing opinion.

Mentor: Engage in your own learning while you are mentoring, collaborate on projects, ask questions and experiment.

Mentee: Listen. Ask if you can observe your mentor’s work if they are local.

Mentor: Share your ideas, give advice and be a resource for new ideas.

Mentee: Offer ideas on what activities and exercises you can do together.

Mentor and Mentee: Remember that people come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Get to know each other on an individual basis.

Mentor and Mentee: The more consistent you are, the more you will be trusted.

Mentor: Recognize the work the protégé has done and the progress made.

Mentee: Remember that your mentor is offering feedback and not criticizing.

Current Mentoring Opportunities

Helpful Resources

DU Career Network

Creating Your Mentorship Group



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