Alumni Guidelines: Being a Mentor
Purpose of the Alumni Mentorship Program
To help students and young alumni develop professional relationships with accomplished Alumni Mentors for:
- Professional Development – beyond industry, the focus is on intrinsic challenges as well as discovering and leveraging expertise.
- Personal Development – the focus, here, is on the individual, and how work/life decisions are managed.
All students are advised that this is not a job placement program and does not guarantee industry-specific insights.
Identifying student and young alumni challenges
What are your mentee's top 3–5 mentorship goals?
- Mentees are suggested to identify personal and professional goals before your first meeting, such as, job search strategies, industry knowledge, career paths, time management and work-life balance.
- Mentees should be able to identifiy their top 3-5 mentorship goals for the term.
- We encourage you to review your mentee's resumé prior to the first meeting.
Assist mentees in clarifying or refining their program goals.
- Help students and young alumni understand what they’re free to enquire about and how you can help.
What experiences were critical in achieving your goals?
- Experiences, perspectives and approaches to developing your career and gaining the skills required to succeed.
- Relay specific situations that can be particularly valuable to the mentee’s professional growth.
What knowledge would you have benefited from having when you were a student?
- Key challenges you faced with your job search, developing expertise, important career decisions – options you identified, your decision-making process and actions.
- Outcomes, your analysis of outcomes and support you received – lessons learned.
Identify and respect unique aspects of your relationship — no two are alike.
- You and your mentee set the tone – respect each other’s individuality and expertise.
- You cannot meet all your mentees needs – be honest about your time commitments and the support you can truly offer.
- Explore multiple options with your mentee – s/he should make the final decision. Your guidance is invaluable, if only to explore different options.
- Look for opportunities for your own enrichment – mentors often find value in the questions being asked and fresh perspectives that your mentee may offer.
Mentorship preparation includes:
- Showing genuine interest and sharing professional and personal information, as you desire.
- Working with your mentee's resumé, goals and questions to agree on feasible objectives.
- Getting to know each other – travel, marital status, children – perhaps in a non-office setting.
- Deciding on the meeting media (face-to-face, telephone), times and frequency you both prefer.
Sample questions for your first meeting
- What are your expectations of the mentorship experience?
- How do you think a mentor can help you?
- Why do you want to pursue a career in this specific area/industry?
- What challenges are you currently facing with your professional development?
- What are some courses that you are taking? How do you wish to apply it to your job?
- Have you considered taking some professional designation courses, if applicable?
Contact & Confidentiality
- Please identify and clarify to your student mentee the limits of your terms of confidentiality.
- All information provided to alumni or students through Sheridan Connect is confidential and may only be shared with the consent of the individual.
- As the mentorship relationship is formal and professional, students and alumni will dress in business attire when meeting face-to-face unless otherwise arranged by both parties.
- Mentees have been informed that this is not a job placement program. If you feel that your mentee is only interested in securing a job, please inform us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closure doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your relationship.
Mentorship closure does not preclude mentors and mentees from continuing your relationship informally. It simply removes any obligation on either party to do so.
What does closure entail?
Whether or not you opt to maintain your relationship, as a mentor, you are encouraged to:
- Recognize your mentee's achievements and help them to use available resources in his/her continued professional and personal development.
- Encourage your mentee to take reasonable risks and try out new skills.
- Recognize the value of your role in supporting this Sheridan College student or alumni, but be aware that as you both evolve, so will the nature of your relationship.
At the conclusion of your mentorship experience, we ask that you provide us with your feedback. Your feedback is confidential and will be used only to improve our program.
Thank you for your support!