Ways to get the most from a mentoring relationship

Trinity College has an active network of over 26,800 alumni from all around the world. Many of these alumni are willing to give their time to talk to current students and young graduates and offer career advice.

Trinity alumni love to share their career journeys and knowledge with the next generation of Trinitarians making the transition into the workforce. However, sometimes it can be difficult to know what questions to ask alumni. Here are six tips to build strong connections between you and your mentor.

  1. Work out what you want – One of the best ways to show you value another person’s time is to work out what you want to ask them prior to when you meet. Try and be specific with what you would like from your mentor. For instance, are you looking for job openings, connections to other people, help on how to apply somewhere or advice to an industry or career path. Explain how you came across the mentor and why you would value their advice.
  2. Do your homework ahead of time – Find out and research who you are meeting and the type of work they do. A good idea before you meet can be to look your mentor up on LinkedIn as well as looking at career websites such as Glassdoor to find out more about particular organisations that you find interesting.
  3. Manage expectations and build trust – Mentoring takes time and our alumni are very busy people! Be respectful of your mentor’s time and the other priorities in their life, such as family, travel and community activities. Generally, the first call or meeting might last for 30 minutes. If the person is senior at an organisation ask to be connected with their assistant.
  4. Don’t ask too much from your mentor – Be clear about what you want from your mentor, but also don’t expect them to be able to answer all your questions. By being really clear on why you have sought out this particular individual will make it easier for both you and your mentor to know the support you need.
  5. Show your gratitude – Your mentor is likely to give a lot more than you do in the relationship in terms of time and contacts. Be sure to express regularly that you value and appreciate your mentor’s guidance. Make sure you let them know how much you appreciate them taking the time out of their schedule to help you. Always send an email immediately afterwards.
  6. Follow up your mentor’s advice – If your mentor gives you advice demonstrate that you listened and value their advice by following it up with action and communicate you’ve done this through an email or message. For instance, if they suggest for you to apply for a particular job or contact a particular person, take their advice on board. By showing that you value their advice, a mentor is likely to feel more positively about your relationship. When you succeed express thanks, your mentor is also likely to feel very satisfied with your good news!

Trinity students and young alumni such as Josh (Duc Thinh) Nguyen have already used My Trinity Connect to find the right mentor.

 “Mentoring makes me much more confident in what I am doing, and my mentor's advice has helped me make better choices in my studies, such as changing my study routines to prepare for my career,” says Josh.

Interested in finding a mentor?

If you’d like to find a mentor, simply sign up or login to mytrinityconnect.com.au and find a mentor in the search directory with whom you would like to connect. Make sure you include why you have contacted your prospective mentor and follow the tips above.


02 Nov 2018
Category: People