- To benefit from having a mentor, you need to be proactive.
- Write your mentor within a day of the e-introduction. Here is a sample email:
Dear [first name],
Thank you for agreeing to be my mentor. I was hoping we could talk in the next week or so. I would be interested in learning more about your experiences at CWRU and your career path. Also, I could use your advice about [chose a topic.]
Please let me know how it would be most convenient to talk and please suggest some times you will be available.
I look forward to hearing from you.
All the best,
- Learn more about your mentor by reading his or her LinkedIn profile and other professional information about him or her on the internet.
- Prepare questions to ask your mentor. You can ask questions that will help you with planning or decision-making you are doing at the time. You can also ask general questions like these:
- How did you get into this field?
- Where did you work before your current employer?
- What is a typical career path in this field?
- What are some good tips for an internship/job search in this field?
- What other classes/majors would you recommend for someone looking to enter this field?
- What other activities might I participate in that may help me prepare for this field?
- How important is it to pursue an advanced degree in this field?
- Would you recommend obtaining an advanced degree?
- If so, which programs or schools may be stronger in this field?
- From the research I’ve done so far, I’ve developed a list of organizations/companies I am interested in. Can you tell me which you most recommend and why?
- I have a copy of my resume. Would you look at it and let me know what you think?
- Can you recommend the names of two other people with whom I should talk?
(adapted from Career Search Guide)
- Check in with your mentor at least once a semester to update him or her on your plans and ask follow-up questions.
- These resources contain additional useful information about networking and the broader topics of job-searching and career-planning:
The Student Job-Hunting Handbook