Get a mentor

The goal of the Gustavson Mentorship Program is to help students clarify their career and life goals before they make the leap. The program is open to both MBA and BCom students at the Gustavson School of Business.

Step one: Learn about the Mentorship Program

Program purposes:

Program guidelines: 

You can expect a mentor to:

We expect each student to:

Step two: Complete your mentoring profile

During the profile process, you will identify your mentoring goals and prepare and submit your profile and résumé. If you need further guidance, you can arrange a meeting with a staff member from the Gustavson Mentorship Program.

Potential goals from a mentoring relationship:

Mentoring matching ideas:

Complete and submit your profile:

Résumé and meeting times:

Step three: Get matched with your mentor

Now that you know how the program works and have completed your mentoring profile, the next step is to get matched with your mentor.

Step four: Connect with your mentor

To help your mentor relationship thrive and grow, keep these guidelines in mind:

Connecting with your mentor involves the following steps:

Additional information

Preparing for your first meeting

The purpose of the meeting is to assess the match.

  • Can this person help me with my goals?
  • Is this someone I feel comfortable with?
  • Is this someone I want to develop a relationship with?

Similarly, your mentor wants to determine if they can help you with your goals, and if they would enjoy working with you.

Before the Meeting:

  • Do some research to learn about the mentor's business and career.
  • Clarify what you want to accomplish with the mentor and be honest about your mentoring goals.
  • Don't be concerned if you don't have specific outcomes related to your goals. A mentor will help you achieve greater goal clarity.
  • Prepare some key questions for getting to know your mentor.
  • Show up on time! With an agenda in mind, dressed for the meeting location. It's better to be overdressed than underdressed.

At the Meeting:

At the start, relax and take some deep breaths. Your mentor is probably a little nervous as well.

  • Get to know the mentor and show who you are.
  • At the start, discuss your mentor's background, interests, values and experience.
  • If your mentor takes the lead on the discussion, that's great! But identify what you want to learn at the meeting too.

As you journey through the meeting, your mentor may purposely leave it up to you to guide the discussion. Be prepared to take the lead. Talk about your goals and the mentor's willingness to help you with them.

  • Ask about the mentor's goals. What does the mentor want to gain from your relationship? How compatible are your goals?
  • Ask what your mentor expects of you.
  • If it feels right, discuss what you might do together, how often you will meet, where you might meet and other ground rules.
  • Leave the meeting clear on the next step.
  • Set some agenda items for the next meeting.
  • Set a time and place to meet (if appropriate).

After the Meeting:

  • Decide if this seems to be a good match. Is your mentor the right one to help you reach your goals?
  • As a result of the meeting, have your learning goals shifted or become clearer? A 60-second bullet summary might help.
  • Send a thank you email to the mentor, and confirm the next step.
  • Give your mentor your class timetable and contact info.
  • Email bizconnect@uvic.ca on your meeting.

Managing the relationship

Manage the relationship proactively and professionally

  • Maintain regular contact
  • Be ambitious and clear about what you expect to accomplish - tell your mentor how to help you
  • What about your mentor’s needs and goals (ask!)
  • Take responsibility for meeting arrangements and agenda
  • Show respect, openness, and a sense of humour
  • Take the relationship's temperature from time to time

Respect your mentor’s time

  • Be flexible in scheduling meetings
  • Show up, be on time, be prepared - no excuses!
  • Keep to time allotted
  • Return messages promptly

Be open to advice & feedback

  • Be willing to challenge and be challenged
  • Ask for specific feedback and suggestions for improvement
  • It's not personal - focus on your behaviour and performance
  • Consider all advice and suggestions
  • Share results with your mentor

Capture & apply what you are learning

  • Monitor your progress against your goals
  • After each meeting review and reflect on what you have learned
  • Share your learning and how you will apply/have applied it with your mentor

Show appreciation

  • Give thanks frequently
  • Say specifically what has been helpful
  • Let your mentor know how you are doing
  • Find ways to give back

Don't expect your mentor to:

  • Guarantee you a co-op or a job
  • Make decisions for you
  • Have all the answers

Sending progress update

Every three months, send a brief email update to bizconnect@uvic.ca. No form is required, but please answer these questions:

  1. How many meetings have you had with your mentor?
  2. Are you satisfied your mentor is a good match for you?
  3. Are you getting what you expect from your relationship?
  4. What has been your contribution to the relationship?
  5. What has been your most significant learning to this point (Have you shared this with your mentor?).

Discuss your mentoring goals with your mentor regularly. Adjust your activities accordingly.

Creating a mentor contract

A useful exercise early in the mentor-student relationship is clarification of expectations – setting the ‘contract’ governing your relationship.

Here are a few suggestions as key areas for discussion and agreement. You may have other items you wish to add to this list.

Agreement:

  • Student goals and expectations
  • Mentor goals and expectations
  • Duration of the relationship
  • Topics/activities to be engaged in
  • Method and frequency of meetings/communication
  • Flexibility and limitations on time and availability
  • Provision of feedback to each other
  • Conversations/topics not expected unless agreed to
  • Extent of confidentiality
  • First progress review date
  • Additional comments

You may want to document a summary of your agreement for reference. This is not required but some mentor/student pairs have found this a useful record for later review.

Ending early

As in any relationship, mismatches happen. The mentor program has a no-fault withdrawal policy. The program director will not assign blame to either a student or a mentor for an unsuccessful relationship. Mismatches may occur in your future work environment. Take this opportunity to learn from the experience and exit gracefully.

Got an issue? Address it immediately. Contact bizconnect@uvic.ca for support. Addressing concerns early may result in a positive resolution and the relationship being maintained. Based on your situation the program director will work with both parties to counsel or end the pairing. We keep all details confidential.

Step five: Reflect on your experience

Reflect on your mentoring goals and your progress at regular intervals and discuss with your mentor. What are you learning? What has your mentor learned? What are you learning together? Update your mentoring goals accordingly.

The mentor program director will contact you from time to time to check on your mentor relationship.

You will receive a program evaluation survey once you have concluded your relationship or have completed your studies. We will send this evaluation to help us evaluate the program.