Guides for students

More about mentoring

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a relationship between a student (‘mentee’) and a more experienced person (‘mentor’), who is there to support you with developing your career.

What form that support takes depends on what your specific needs are and what the mentor has the time and ability to offer. Mentoring can be anything from a few brief email contacts to a long-term coaching relationship.

Mentoring should be…

  • A one-to-one relationship
  • Working towards clear, agreed objectives (at least at the beginning of the relationship)
  • Focused on your career

Part of what makes mentoring valuable is that you keep the same mentor for a period of time – weeks, months or sometimes even years. Your mentor can get to know you, your strengths and aspirations. You benefit from better support because they know you, and they get the satisfaction of seeing you progress towards reaching your goals.

Types of mentoring activity

The core of a mentoring relationship is conversation, whether by email, phone, Skype, online messaging or face-to-face.

Do not assume that all mentors can offer the same types of support. Some mentoring relationships are carried out entirely by email. Also, all York mentors are busy people; they probably do not have large amounts of time to spend with you.

Be realistic in your expectations of your mentor and be reasonable about how much time you want from them.

Tip – Some mentors describe what types of support they can offer on the profiles they have written. Go to a mentor’s profile, scroll to the bottom and look for the heading ‘Contacting me’.

Key Information

Search for a mentor Browse Profiles Need more help? Contact Careers