Being a Mentor
Being a mentor is a volunteer opportunity. Whether you are faculty or staff, you'll find that mentoring can be one of the most satisfying and rewarding experiences you can have. All it takes to become a mentor is a caring nature, commitment, responsibility, and good listening skills. Mentors should be able to assist mentees in mastering additional skills and/or gaining knowledge or abilities in specific areas, thereby enhancing the mentees’ prospects for success.
Remember, mentoring not only helps the mentee, but it gives the mentor valuable experience too. Volunteering as a mentor requires a commitment of time and energy, but it is often a new and interesting experience with the added benefit of helping others.
Reasonable expectations of Mentors and Mentees
Mentors and mentees typically enter their relationships with assumed expectations of each other. Expectations that aren't met or even discussed can lead to irritation and disappointment. In many cases, these expectations are similar or the same. A mentoring relationship is a partnership, with both people showing respect and support for each other. Reasonable Expectations for Mentors and Mentees, a white paper from www.MediaPro.com (pdf) describes setting clear and responsible expectations for mentoring relationships.
The UD Women’s Center's Mentoring Program is designed to involve mentors and mentees in formal mentoring relationships. It provides a basic structure for these relationships and a support system for the participants involved. There are no guidelines set as to when and how many times each mentor/mentee dyad is expected to meet; this is left to the discretion of the participants depending on their needs and objectives.
The program runs from October to May every year. Application forms are available for both mentors and mentees via this site and through the Women's Center. An annual application deadline will be posted and applications will be accepted electronically as well as via campus mail.
Following acceptance into the program, mentees are paired with mentors who can best help them fulfill their goals. Mentors are contacted first and informed of the pairing. If there is a conflict of interest, the pairing is re-evaluated. If not, the mentees are then informed of whom they have been paired with and encouraged to make contact prior to the initial training. Again, if the mentee perceives a conflict, the pairing is re-evaluated.
An initial training session is held for all mentors and mentees to help them develop goals for their mentoring relationships. Additionally, at least two meetings and a closing dinner are held during the year to give mentors/mentees an opportunity to interact as a group. Mentors and mentees are also asked to complete progress surveys midway through and at the end of the program. These evaluations examine the interactions between mentors and mentees and how the relationships are progressing, as well as provide mentors/mentees an opportunity to make suggestions to improve the program.
If you want to know more about this program, please contact the Women’s Center Mentoring Program Coordinator at (937) 229-5334 or contact us here.
If you wish to be considered as a mentor, please complete the Mentor Application. This invitation is open to UD staff and faculty, men and women, at all levels.