A word of caution

In requesting a mentor, you’ve asked for a valuable resource. Don’t waste it! Sometimes enthusiastic students get distracted with other activities or don’t make good use of their time. If you miss this opportunity, it could have a serious impact beyond your lost opportunity. Mentors volunteer give time to mentoring you, but if you fail to respond, you may not only hurt your own reputation, but also discourage the mentor from volunteering his or her time again. This could result in a more responsible and conscientious person from benefiting from a valuable mentoring relationship. Once you have requested a mentor, you should plan on regularly communicating with your mentor for at least one semester.

If you need to drop out sooner, you must contact your mentor and the Mentor Network Committee (mentor@awm-math.org). Then we can make better use of your mentor’s valuable time. Thanks!

Suggestions for Mentees

Here are a few things to think about as you communicate with your mentor:

1. Sometimes you might be unsure about questions to ask. That’s OK, that’s why you have a mentor. You can ask your mentor what questions he or she thinks you should ask. Or you can tell them you want to know about certain topic, but don’t know what questions to ask about it. They can help you by suggesting directions.

2. Ask your mentor about herself or himself. Tell your mentor about yourself. This information will certainly help as you discuss certain topics and it will suggest topics that you will find helpful.

3. Some mentors communicate with more than one of their mentees at a time, depending on the topic of discussion. If you’d like to be in contact with other mentees or other mentor pairs, suggest this to your mentor. You both may find it fun and informative to exchange ideas within a group

4. Other suggestions:

  • Before requesting a mentor, try to formulate some concrete benefits you expect to gain from a mentor. List some questions you would like to ask a mentor.
  • Set a schedule for yourself so that you communicate with your mentor regularly and keep in touch.
  • Tell your mentor details of your classes or studies that interests you.
  • Tell your mentor about other things you like to do. Establishing a personal aspect in your mentor pair will help you to make the connection and stay in touch.
  • Check out other web sites that may interest you and discuss them with your mentor.

Thanks again for your involvement – please send feedback as necessary to mentor@awm-math.org.