If you have a mentor as a college student, you may think that it’s all up to your mentor to give advice as well as provide opportunities and resources; however, you have a bigger role than absorbing what your mentor gives you. Your mentor, overall, gives you a choice to improve yourself. You have to make the decision to listen and take on whatever your mentor can provide you with. 

In this post, you’ll see some additional advice on how get as much out of your mentorship as possible so that you can be successful in life. After all, the mentorship is beneficial to both you and your mentor, but you both have to work for it.

1. It’s your initiative
As stated above, you, as the student, have to work to earn something from your mentorship. It’s your responsibility to make the commitment to yourself as well as your mentor. Ask yourself: do I want to improve? If your answer is “yes,” then you must take the initiative and become a productive part of the relationship. If you have set some goals with your mentor, it’s your duty to work towards those goals. Your mentor’s job is to support you and not do the work for you.

2. Be committed
Like any relationship, be it with a family member, friend, or romantic relationship, you need to be committed to your mentorship. This means you cannot rely on your mentor to set up meetings for you, initiate conversations, and remind you about meetings or phone calls. You must be present in the relationship. Set up a schedule with your mentor that works with both of your busy lives and stick to it as much as possible. Be prepared for these meetings by writing down notes that you want to discuss with your mentor.

3. Give feedback
Don’t forget to thank your mentor for advice or things they have done for you. Give them an update on your progress toward your goals and share how they helped you. With feedback, your mentor knows how to help you in the future — what’s worked and perhaps what hasn’t. Additionally, you should assess your expectations of your mentor. You can’t expect them to devote hours per day to helping you, so set your expectations appropriately. Your mentor is not a miracle worker, but telling them how they can help you is the first step in a good mentor relationship. 

4. Take some risks
Your mentor may push you past your goals and out of your comfort zone when it comes to how hard you’re working. You should embrace this! In addition, if you are uncomfortable or not confident about a goal your mentor is focusing on, you should discuss this with them. Discussing your pitfalls and charting your growth is part of the mentorship process.

5. Become a mentor
Once you’re in a good relationship with your mentor, don’t be afraid to become a mentor to someone else. You may not be a seasoned professional, but you can help others like you with the things you’ve learned from your own mentor. People often forget that becoming a mentor can also help you learn in addition to your mentee’s growth. 

If you think you’ll be a good mentor or you know someone who could be a helpful mentor, please contact us! We have a mentorship program called the Future Institute Road-to-Success Mentorship program for which we are consistently seeking mentors.

Come back to the Future Blog for more articles on college and career success!