Mentor Guidelines

Thank you for getting involved with our SIR Mentor Match platform! Mentoring is a specialized form of teaching. It takes practical knowledge, but also willingness to share some of your time, personal experiences, and judgment. Although it is the mentee who should take the initiative in the mentoring relationship, it’s important for mentors to co-create it as an active participant. Here are some guidelines that can help.

Identify Your Motivations (Ask yourself...)

  • Why do I want to be a mentor?
  • What do I hope to get out of this experience?
  • What do I have to share? (Skills, expertise, experiences, advice)


Communicate Expectations

Stay somewhat flexible, but let your mentee know the following:

  • How much time you can devote to mentoring
  • What you’re willing to discuss and anything you are not willing to discuss
  • Your communication preferences and general availability
  • Your expectations of him or her


Work Together

Your mentee is expected to take the lead in contacting you, organizing calls or meetings, and setting goals and objectives for your time together. But you should take the lead in facilitating the discussion. Your role is to:

  • Answer questions openly and honestly
  • Ask questions for clarification or deeper understanding
  • Give examples
  • Suggest action based on your mentee’s goals
  • Offer constructive feedback
  • Be encouraging – recognize that your mentee is less experienced than you
  • Be responsive – strive to communicate back to your mentee quickly and thoroughly


Things to Remember

  • Get to know your mentee by offering some personal information about your life, career and strengths. Being open and friendly helps make it easy for them to share information with you, too.
  • Take direction from your mentee’s For example, if he or she is struggling with a choice between academia and industry and wants an honest picture of the academic life from you, your role is to provide that rather than tell them what to do.
  • Make sure to tell your mentee that you’re interested in his or her It is a simple statement that helps build trust.

Questions about SIR Mentor Match? Please contact Morgan Grant, SIR Program Manager of Volunteer Engagement at