Mentorship Tips for Students

Choosing a mentor

Your choice of a mentor is a very important decision. You should carefully consider who would be best suited to work with you according to research intentions, communication manner and learning style.

These issues may be clarified through face-to-face interviews with potential mentors and by talking with their present and former advisees.

Choosing a thesis committee

Each member of your thesis committee will provide different skillsets and abilities. It is important that each member of the thesis committee communicate and function well together.

Consult with your thesis advisor first for recommendations. Then, consider the following areas when selecting your committee:

  • The faculty member’s current and previous research
  • A representation of different ages, academic areas and analytic approaches
  • Personal or political conflicts between potential committee members
  • A willingness to provide a critical eye to a student’s work.

Roles and responsibilities

A mentoring or advising relationship is built on a series of expectations. As a student, you are expected to:

  • Maintain mutual respect, honesty, confidence, and acceptance with your mentor
  • Understand the pressures and time restrictions on your faculty mentor and respect their time
  • Maintain contact with advisor through predetermined meetings or as problems arises
  • Keep an open line of communication with your mentor
  • Take personal responsibility for your work and the end product
  • Follow ethical research methods and consult with your mentor if you have questions
  • Participate in professional development opportunities
  • Abide by appropriate policies and procedures
  • Ask for help when needed