UC Davis MBA Leadership Fellows Mentoring Program
Become a Mentor or Mentee

A Mentor is SOMEONE WHO…

  • Can provide advice and counsel to guide you and help you to understand the industry.
  • Can show you how to approach decision-making on professional issues.
  • Listens to a mentee’s challenges and can be a sounding board for ideas for action.
  • Provides feedback to help mentee identify effective ways to address various work-related challenges.
  • Can be a confidante for discussions that the mentee may feel uncomfortable raising with his/her manager or teammates (such as doubts about performance and relationship challenges).
  • Validates when the mentee is demonstrating effective behaviors or accurately deciphering subtleties of the culture.
  • Encourages mentee to follow-up on good ideas and strategies.

Mentoring Protocol

  • Follow through. As a mentee you are responsible for sharing, seeking, asking, evaluating and managing the relationship. Meeting regularly with your mentor will help your relationship grow and facilitate the trust-building you will need to feel secure in reaching out and/or discussing sensitive issues.
  • Be on time for meetings that are scheduled or make sure you call ahead if you know you are going to be a bit late.
  • Avoid dropping by unannounced. Even if you have a pressing problem, call your mentor to set up an appointment first. If scheduling or distances are issues, use e-mail and teleconferences to regularly communicate with your mentor. Don’t always wait until you have a problem to call your mentor. Share some of your successes as well, especially if you applied some advice your mentor gave you.
  • Let your mentor know how much you appreciate them.
  • Having a mentor does not automatically come with a guarantee of advancement. While a mentor may be able to give you sound career advice or put in a good word for you, don’t hold them responsible for your career growth.

Stages of the Mentoring Relationship

  1. Initiation: In the beginning of your mentoring relationship, you are becoming acquainted with your mentor.
  2. Definition: You should take initiative during the first couple of meetings to jointly establish objectives with your mentor. This is the time to define how the relationship will be structured – how often to meet, where, who will schedule meetings.
  3. Cultivation: Give your relationship at least one to three months to develop rapport and trust. ­­
  4. Evaluation: Throughout the relationship, you and your mentor should be observing and reflecting on the quality of the mentoring experience. Provide feedback to each other in areas where you think the relationship can be better leveraged (i.e. frequency of meetings, introductions to others).

*Adapted from