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Advice

During the 2004 and 2005 spring semesters, mentors were asked:

What advice would you give a new mentor?
What do you wish you’d known?  

Connect EARLY

  • Plan activities before classes begin and during the first week of block 1 (capitalize on early enthusiasm and motivation)
  • Link name to face right away (i.e. take photos)
  • Have them write down info about themselves on index cards (e.g. hometown, extracurricular interests, favorite movie,
  • Send several emails early on to get them in the habit of checking email
  • Before first day of classes, meet to walk to classroom and talk about fears and expectations
  • If you do a lot early, you won’t have to prove yourself later
  • Meet on an individual basis right away (e.g. casual conversation over coffee)
  • If living off-campus, early connection is crucial. Invite them to your apartment

The FYE class

  • Contact with faculty teaching course is crucial; cultivate faculty-mentor relationship
  • Establish a clear expectation with faculty regarding responsibilities
  • Have professor legitimize your role by including you in the class
  • Find out how they are doing in class w/different assignments
  • Get a copy of the syllabus & familiarize yourself with the readings
  • Be as involved in the class as possible (e.g. attend occasionally)
  • Ask professor to link you to course and to highlight your potential to provide academic support
  • Use classroom setting for sign-ups and activity announcements

Defining the relationship

  • Try to put yourself in their shoes and remember what it was like (particularly your FYE experience)
  • Don’t act superior – more of an older brother or friend; less of a parent
  • Be approachable – helps define the relationship after class ends
  • Being more of a friend and less of an authority figure may help sophomore mentors
  • Be friends and establish trust – they already know you as an authority figure
  • Let social connections emerge from something else
  • Say hello on campus and capitalize on these informal interactions
  • Support mentees by attending their concerts, athletic contests, debates, etc.
  • Don’t force activities on them---sell it as fun

Be a resource

  • Link mentees with campus activities and dept events that are in sync with their interests
  • Don’t overwhelm First Year students with too much info at first
  • Be available & really listen to what they have to say
  • Show up where you know they will be (e.g. outside classroom at break)
  • Have a thorough understanding of the registration process and related issues
  • Model a balanced life outside the classroom
  • Find out about their interests and capitalize on that. Follow up to reinforce the idea that you are a resource.

Logistics & planning

  • If you have a large group, divide into smaller groups for some activities
  • Coordinate with other mentors – combine groups for activities
  • Be flexible about scheduling times for events
  • Make a schedule so that they will know when and where you are available
  • Registration advising takes a lot of time. Use a sign-up sheet for times.
  • Advance notice of activities - Give detailed explanations of time and location w/multiple reminders
  • Serve food
  • Email distribution list is crucial. Keep in contact via email, especially after Blocks 1 & 2
  • Consider creating a phone list for the group
  • Take advantage of events planned by other groups (e.g. dept lunches, lectures)
  • Do something in a social (non-academic) setting
  • Leadership skills help

Your life as a mentor

  • Make a commitment to the role – schedule other things around this priority
  • Understand that mentoring takes time and energy. Be organized so that you can be available.
  • It’s challenging to work in a role that has minimal structure
  • Don’t take a difficult class Block 1
  • Go into mentoring with a positive attitude and be patient
  • Self-monitor periodically à How am I doing as a mentor?
  • Relax and have fun – plan activities that you enjoy
  • Don’t expect everyone to respond and don’t take it personally when they don’t

During the 2004 and 2005 spring semesters, mentors were asked:

What advice would you give a new mentor?
What do you wish you’d known?  

Connect EARLY

  • Plan activities before classes begin and during the first week of block 1 (capitalize on early enthusiasm and motivation)
  • Link name to face right away (i.e. take photos)
  • Have them write down info about themselves on index cards (e.g. hometown, extracurricular interests, favorite movie,
  • Send several emails early on to get them in the habit of checking email
  • Before first day of classes, meet to walk to classroom and talk about fears and expectations
  • If you do a lot early, you won’t have to prove yourself later
  • Meet on an individual basis right away (e.g. casual conversation over coffee)
  • If living off-campus, early connection is crucial. Invite them to your apartment

The FYE class

  • Contact with faculty teaching course is crucial; cultivate faculty-mentor relationship
  • Establish a clear expectation with faculty regarding responsibilities
  • Have professor legitimize your role by including you in the class
  • Find out how they are doing in class w/different assignments
  • Get a copy of the syllabus & familiarize yourself with the readings
  • Be as involved in the class as possible (e.g. attend occasionally)
  • Ask professor to link you to course and to highlight your potential to provide academic support
  • Use classroom setting for sign-ups and activity announcements

Defining the relationship

  • Try to put yourself in their shoes and remember what it was like (particularly your FYE experience)
  • Don’t act superior – more of an older brother or friend; less of a parent
  • Be approachable – helps define the relationship after class ends
  • Being more of a friend and less of an authority figure may help sophomore mentors
  • Be friends and establish trust – they already know you as an authority figure
  • Let social connections emerge from something else
  • Say hello on campus and capitalize on these informal interactions
  • Support mentees by attending their concerts, athletic contests, debates, etc.
  • Don’t force activities on them---sell it as fun

Be a resource

  • Link mentees with campus activities and dept events that are in sync with their interests
  • Don’t overwhelm First Year students with too much info at first
  • Be available & really listen to what they have to say
  • Show up where you know they will be (e.g. outside classroom at break)
  • Have a thorough understanding of the registration process and related issues
  • Model a balanced life outside the classroom
  • Find out about their interests and capitalize on that. Follow up to reinforce the idea that you are a resource.

Logistics & planning

  • If you have a large group, divide into smaller groups for some activities
  • Coordinate with other mentors – combine groups for activities
  • Be flexible about scheduling times for events
  • Make a schedule so that they will know when and where you are available
  • Registration advising takes a lot of time. Use a sign-up sheet for times.
  • Advance notice of activities - Give detailed explanations of time and location w/multiple reminders
  • Serve food
  • Email distribution list is crucial. Keep in contact via email, especially after Blocks 1 & 2
  • Consider creating a phone list for the group
  • Take advantage of events planned by other groups (e.g. dept lunches, lectures)
  • Do something in a social (non-academic) setting
  • Leadership skills help

Your life as a mentor

  • Make a commitment to the role – schedule other things around this priority
  • Understand that mentoring takes time and energy. Be organized so that you can be available.
  • It’s challenging to work in a role that has minimal structure
  • Don’t take a difficult class Block 1
  • Go into mentoring with a positive attitude and be patient
  • Self-monitor periodically à How am I doing as a mentor?
  • Relax and have fun – plan activities that you enjoy
  • Don’t expect everyone to respond and don’t take it personally when they don’t