Building community amongst University of Georgia students and alumni has been of utmost importance for the UGA Mentor Program (UMP). Whether you are a first-year student, graduate student, or professional student, the UMP provides you the opportunity to connect with an experienced UGA alumni via an informational interview and/or a 16-week mentorship. There are numerous ways to form strong, healthy mentorships, even in a virtual capacity! To cultivate meaningful mentoring relationships, we recommend committing yourself to these 7 Guiding Mentoring Principles:
- Strive for mutual benefits – The relationship should be defined from the beginning as mutually beneficial. The UMP encourages participants to keep reciprocal and collaborative learning at the center of the mentorship.
“I expected (or at least hoped) to help the students better understand the challenges and opportunities in their chosen profession, but I did not expect the level of satisfaction and optimism the students provided me.” - Brian Murphy, UGA Mentor
- Agree on confidentiality – Maintaining an environment of confidentiality is a critical component in building trust between the participants. From the very beginning, we encourage you to discuss confidentiality with your mentor. Agreeing on confidentiality will allow for trustworthy, fruitful dialogue.
- Commit to honesty – The participants should be willing to candidly share what they expect to gain from the relationship and their vision for getting there. If the mentee and mentor are honest about their future goals, it will allow the pair to create a roadmap to success!
“We both felt comfortable. This led to honest and candid conversations about careers, the world outside of college, and the professional world.” - Kevin Nwogu, UGA Mentee
- Listen and learn – Mutual benefits and honesty can only be achieved when both members feel their viewpoints are heard and respected. Making simple statements such as, “What I am hearing you say is… [repeat mentor’s statement back]” can help the mentor know you are listening and aware of their perspective.
- Build a working partnership – Consider structuring a working partnership that includes project consultation or active collaborations rooted in shared professional or personal goals. Establishing common goals and working towards them will produce the feeling of mutual support. This is critical to healthy mentorships!
- Lead by example – Actions create lasting impressions. Leading by example will set the tone for the mentorship. Arriving on time and being prepared for meetings will show your commitment to professionalism. Your leadership style will present itself.
“Jane exemplified community service and leadership, and in turn, instilled a sense of purpose in me to figure out how I was going to give back to my community upon graduation.” - Ellie Cash, UGA Mentee
- Be flexible – As your mentorship develops and grows over time, goals and plans may change. Being receptive to creativity and change will allow the relationship to blossom organically.
By following these seven Guiding Mentoring Principles, you will prove that you are ready to #CommitTo Mentorship!
Not yet a UGA mentee? No worries! Visit mentor.uga.edu today to get started today! There are 2,600+ diverse alumni mentors located across the globe ready to help inspire you to reach your goals.
The UGA Mentor Lab is here to serve and support you. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inspiring our students to do more, achieve more, and become more. That’s our commitment.