Roles of the Mentee and Mentor

"Every great achiever is inspired by a great mentor."  "Every individual must be given the opportunity to unearth his/her highest potential." 
Lailah Gifty Akita, "Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind"

Role of the Mentee

As a mentee, you will play many different roles during the course of your mentoring relationship. The following are some important roles for you to keep in mind:

Driver of Relationship

  • Identify the skills, knowledge, and/or goals that you want to achieve and communicate them to your mentor
  • Bring up new topics that are important to you at any point and give feedback to your mentor

Development Planner

  • Develop and maintain the mentoring action plan and work with your mentor to set up goals, developmental activities, and time frames

Resource Partner

  • Work with your mentor to seek resources for learning; identify people and information that might be helpful


  • Look for opportunities to give back to your mentor; share any information that you think might be valuable

Continuous Learner

  • Take full advantage of this opportunity to learn

Role of the Mentor

As a mentor, your primary role is to provide guidance and support to your mentee based on their unique developmental needs. At different points in the relationship, you will take on some or all of the following roles:


  • Give advice and guidance, share ideas, and provide feedback
  • Share information on "unwritten rules for success" within environment/organization
  • Provide input to the mentoring action plan

Source of Encouragement/Support

  • Act as sounding board for ideas/concerns about school/career choices; provide insights into possible opportunities
  • Provide support on personal issues, if appropriate

Resource Person

  • Identify resources to help mentee enhance personal development and career growth
  • Expand the mentee's network of contacts


  • Serve as advocate for mentee whenever opportunity presents itself
  • Seek opportunities for increased visibility for mentee

Devil's Advocate

  • When appropriate, play devil's advocate to help mentee think through important decisions and strategies

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