Mentoring Toolkit for Mentees
Prepared by: Dr. Jill Nemiro, co-PI on The NSF ADVANCE Program at Cal Poly
Pomona. The overall goal of ADVANCE at CPP is to create a university-wide system of
recruitment, retention, and development that increases the number of women in STEM
disciplines and enables them to further their careers. For more information, please
contact ADVANCE at Cal Poly Pomona at email@example.com, (909) 869-4613.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No.
0548426 via an ADVANCE Institutional Transformation (IT) Award. Any opinions, findings, and
conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Table of Contents
Why Should I Be a Mentee? 3
As a MENTEE, what am I agreeing to do? 3
What will help me be an effective MENTEE? 3
What stages can I expect to go through in the mentoring relationship? 4
What steps should I follow in the mentoring process? 5
What shall I do if the mentoring match isn’t working? 5
APPENDIX A – Mentor Needs and Goal Setting Worksheet 7
APPENDIX B - Faculty Mentee Needs-Assessment 9
Mentoring Toolkit For MENTEES
Why Should I Be a Mentee?
The purpose of the mentor/mentee pairs element of the ADVANCE Mentoring Program
is to enhance the professional development of women faculty in STEM fields and to
assist junior faculty in becoming familiar with the university and college culture.
ADVANCE at CPP appreciates your willingness to be a mentee.
Some of the potential benefits to you are:
Gain advice and support on career-related issues (e.g., RTP, teaching methods,
Gain familiarity with university, college and department culture.
Alleviate feelings of isolation by having someone as a mentor to contact for
support and advice.
Gain strategies on work-life balance.
Develop a personal network of role models.
As a MENTEE, what am I agreeing to do?
Read this Toolkit.
Share your CV with your mentor.
Complete the Mentee Needs and Goal Setting Worksheet (found in Appendix A).
Respond promptly to your mentor’s invitation for a first meeting.
Meet regularly with your mentor; we suggest once a month.
Be able to articulate what you need or want to know about policies on tenure and
promotion, work/family balance, etc.
Respond as quickly as you can to emails, phone calls, and requests from your
Reflect periodically (e.g., once a quarter) on how well your needs are being met
in the mentoring relationship (see Appendix B, Faculty Mentee Needs-
Assessment, for a useful tool to assist you here).
Help to evaluate the ADVANCE Mentoring Program at the end of the academic
year by completing an evaluation form to be supplied by the ADVANCE office.
What will help me be an effective MENTEE?
An effective mentee prepares for a mentoring relationship by thinking about what she
hopes will come from it, and is specific about the kinds of support, feedback, listening,
and advice that will be most helpful to her. Mentees should be open to feedback and
willing to listen to advice, even if they decide not to act on some of their mentor’s
suggestions. Remember that the mentee is ultimately in the best position to recognize
and make decisions about what is her best interest. An effective mentee also
recognizes that no single person can meet all her needs. Mentees cultivate a circle of
advisors that includes an ADVANCE mentor, senior and other tenure-track faculty from
one’s department, and respected colleagues in one’s field from other institutions.
As a mentee, your role may include:
Initiating regular meetings with the mentor and guiding the conversation.
Clearly identifying your goals and expectations for what you want out of the
Listening to advice and criticism with an open mind and putting the advice of the
mentor into practice.
Being willing to discuss with the mentor any ideas, goals, and problems.
Seeking advice and feedback from the mentor on professional development and
work-life balance issues.
Being willing to devote the time to make the mentoring relationship productive.
What stages can I expect to go through in the mentoring relationship?
Building - Mentor and mentee become acquainted and informally clarify their
Relationship common interests, shared values, and professional goals
- Mentoring interaction fosters mutual interest and enthusiasm
- Mentor and mentee establish rapport & trust with each other
- Mentee imagines mentor will support him/her in a significant way
- Mentor begins to visualize mentee as coachable, enjoyable to work
with, someone with potential
Developing - Mentor and mentee communicate initial expectations and agree upon
Common some common procedures and expectations as a starting point
Expectations - Goals and expected outcomes of the mentoring relationship are
developed by the mentor and mentee together
Developing Mentee - Gradually, needs are fulfilled. Objectives are met. Professional growth
takes place. New challenges are presented and achieved
- Both parties serve their maximum range of functions in their roles
- Expectations are reinforced or modified through discovery of the real
value of the relationship
- Satisfaction and mutual exchange are at their peak
- Mutual confidence develops between the mentor and mentee
Ending Formal -The relationship changes due to personal or organizational shifts
Relationship -There is a sense of loss, combined with excitement about new directions
- Contact frequency decreases
- Since developmental tasks have changed for both parties, the
relationship either evolves to a new form or dissolves
-The individuals redefine their relationship as colleagues, peers, and/or
What steps should I follow in the mentoring process?
Call or email mentee to set up first meeting. Respond to mentor's request to meet
Share information about background,
professional experiences, and satisfactions.
Share information about your
Include information about previous
background, your needs and values, and
mentoring experiences, either as a mentor
Informally clarify common interests, shared Informally clarify common interests,
work values shared work values
Help mentee clarify goals Discuss goals to achieve your needs and
Set up a schedule with your mentee for Set goals for yourself, and follow through
regular meetings and feedback sessions. on them. Don't be afraid to raise your
Be sure to agree on frequency and times, expectations or redefine your goals as
and stick to them. part of the ongoing process
Compile a list of activities with mentee With your mentor, decide what steps will
which meet mutual goals need to be taken to achieve your goals
Remember to both talk and listen Remember to both listen and talk
Brush up on your communication and other Be receptive to feedback and coaching
skills and always remember to take the Feedback should be perceived as an
mentee seriously opportunity for growth
Be sensitive to gender and cross-cultural Pay attention to changes in your life or
differences attitudes that may call for updating your
goals and expected outcomes
What shall I do if the mentoring match isn’t working?
If the mentee wants assistance in an area in which the mentor does not feel confident
giving advice, the mentor can help the mentee find additional resources. The mentee
should be encouraged to take the initiative to approach another person for advice in that
specific area, or the mentor may make a contact with a mutually agreed upon person
within or outside the mentee’s department. It may be advantageous to have the mentor
continue as a cross-department mentor, especially if the relationship has been
sustained for several months. However, if the match is not working for either party,
or if there is not enough common ground to make the relationship worthwhile,
mentoring pairs should not feel pressure to maintain the relationship. If either
party feels that their intended goals are not being achieved, discuss the situation as
openly as possible with each other, and try to come to an understanding of why the
mentoring match is not working. Both parties can then agree to a “no-fault conclusion”
of the relationship. After that discussion, both parties should notify the CPP ADVANCE
office who will work with the faculty members to try to better meet mentoring needs. You
may contact ADVANCE at Cal Poly Pomona at firstname.lastname@example.org, (909) 869-
Mentee Needs and Goal Setting Worksheet
Prior to your first meeting, first think about what you may want from your mentor. You
may find it useful to share a summary of your responses to this worksheet with your
mentor at your initial meeting.
Information about tenure and promotion at CPP
Help with career aspirations and goal-setting
Advice about courses of action to address a specific problem
Information about family friendly policies and supports
Someone with whom you can share experiences based on identity markers
(gender, race, class, sexual orientation)
Help with time-management
Perceptions of how you come across
Information about how to advance into academic leadership positions
Help identifying people at CPP who can be helpful to you, and how to approach
Thinking through or role-playing difficult situations that you need to negotiate
Relative importance of teaching, publishing, and service for faculty members at
Tenure and promotion processes and procedures
Advice about participation in professional organizations and conferences
Formulation of career goals and timelines
Balancing personal interests and family time
Help acquiring or improving skills, such as how to give a talk, how to supervise
research assistants, managing classroom dynamics, etc.
(Source: ADVANCE at Brown University’s Faculty Mentoring Program 2009-2010 Guide for Participants.)
Then, identify which of your specific career goals your mentor can help you with. In
addition, ask your mentor for help in identifying other people and resources that can
help you work toward specific goals. Use the following form to record career goals. Be
realistic and specific. Set goals in the areas suggested for your first year, and each
subsequent year prior to tenure. You may find it useful in the first three years in the
tenure and promotion process to review your goals with mentors at least every quarter.
Today’s Date: Review dates (every 3 months):
Area/Goals Who Might I Need Status of My Goal
Faculty Mentee Needs-Assessment
Mentoring includes many types of support. Rarely can one person fulfill them all. Use
this form periodically (e.g., once a quarter) to assess where your needs are being met,
and what other ways you might gain the additional support you need.
Characteristic Things I Could Do
I’m getting I don’t I should ask I should find Other?
what I need have a my mentor someone
from my need for for guidance other than
this. here. my mentor
source. to help me
Obtain guidance on conducting
research and scholarship
Obtain guidance on
Obtain guidance about tenure
and promotion process
Obtain guidance on teaching
Obtain advice about service
Obtain advice and information
on university and department
Seek out needed resources
Gain assistance in establishing
Gain assistance in establishing
external to CPP
Obtain advice on work-life
Establish and maintain regular
communication with mentor
Gain advice on department
Gain advice on adapting to
university and/or department
(Source: Adapted from http://www.uri.edu/advance/files/pdf/mentor%20self-assessment.pdf. ADVANCE
University of Rhode Island’s mentoring program, Faculty Mentor Profile – a self analysis.)