How to Be a Great Mentee

Now that you’ve found the perfect mentor, here’s how you ensure the experience is equally amazing for both of you.

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So you’ve convinced someone to take you on as their mentee, congratulations! You’ve completed the most difficult part of the process. Now to ensure that you build a great relationship that will be equally interesting and valuable for both you and your mentor. 

Be upfront and open about your intentions

As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy. Start off your mentor-mentee journey by being open about your intentions and goals. You should have outlined the milestones you’ve set your sights on and should communicate how you think your mentor would be able to assist you in achieving them. This is a two-way street, so be ready for some adjustments and feedback. 

Respect your mentor’s time

As your mentor would be someone in a more senior and/or managerial position, it’s highly likely that your mentor’s got a busier schedule than you do. That means that you need to work around their schedule.

Don’t ask for too much, they have their own lives

Enthusiasm is great, but in regular doses and with clearly-defined boundaries. Even though they’ve agreed to take you under their wing, your mentors have their own professional and personal commitments that you need to respect.

Implement your mentor’s suggestions

Someone’s taking time to coach and guide you, so you need to show up and do your homework. If your mentor has given you suggestions, ensure that you implement them before your next scheduled meeting or the deadline that you both agreed upon. Giving them an update when you see improvements or experience achievements will also go a long way to making them feel appreciated. Stay committed, your mentor has the right to drop you if you don’t.

Review the relationship/dynamics

Keep the communication open to ensure that the relationship remains healthy and that both sides are satisfied with the time and effort put in. Let your mentor know when you see the results of your collaboration paying off.

It’s important to also keep in mind that mentors are people, and people have their own biases. So balance out their suggestions with your own observations at work. 

Marco Eylert
Co-Founder | TalentSpace

Marco's a co-founder at TalentSpace, and he previously worked at McKinsey & Company, Roland Berger and Credit Suisse. He graduated from Bocconi University and Johns Hopkins SAIS, where he was a scholar of the Haniel Foundation and the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes.

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