Frequently Asked Questions: Mentoring

07 Dec, 2012


Frequently Asked Questions: Mentoring

Q. Do you have any suggestions of things for pairs to do?

A. Mentors can meet with their mentees for coffee, lunch, or after-work drinks. Mentees will find it helpful if they see what their mentor does on a typical day. If you are a mentor, you can show them around your office and give them a feel for your job.  You could consider taking them to a networking event or industry program.  You could introduce them to colleagues in the field acnd if they have a specific area of interest try to connect them with professionals in that area.

Q. What should we discuss?

A. You could talk about different jobs you’ve had, what you’ve struggled with and what has been successful for you. Knowing that everyone encounters hurdles and gets over them can be motivational to a mentee. The best mentors ask questions and listen. Sometimes a mentee just needs an ear. Mentors should cater their advice to their mentee’s needs. Additional topics to discuss are:

  • Tips for networking
  • Job search tips
  • Good lists/groups to engage with
  • Professional associations you find helpful
  • Career planning advice

Q. How often should we meet?

A. This is really up to the pair. However, you will find the program most rewarding if you keep open lines of communication. Even if you don’t meet regularly, make sure you e-mail or call and keep each other up to date. Mentors should aim to check in every 3-4 weeks at the least, even if just by e-mail.

Q. How long should I plan to participate in the program?

A. To facilitate building a meaningful relationship, the Council suggests committing to one year.

Q. Will the Council provide any additional guidance?

A. Periodically, a Council staff person will contact each mentor pair to see how things are progressing. For more information on how to make the most of this program, please view our mentor and mentee tip sheets. Also, please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions.


Casey Mensinger
Program Coordinator
202.787.5961 | email

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