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It is important to go into the mentor experience with a positive attitude, because your mentor experience will be what you make of it. Students who have finished the mentor experience often say that they wished they had started with a better attitude and spoke more openly with their mentors from the beginning. Don't look at the experience as something that will take time out of your day, but as something that can help you become a more authentic version of yourself.

Your mentor is not the average graduate student, faculty, or staff member. Your mentor volunteered to do this. They want to be there for you and help you. The relationship goes both ways. They believe they will get something out of meeting with you, and their goal is to help you get something out of it as well. 

Here are a few things that will help you get the most out of the experience:

  • Get to know your mentor.
    You were paired together for a reason. Your mentor may have some of the same interests as you, or may be well informed or connected in the areas that will help you the most in moving forward.
  • Be respectful.
    Your mentor does not represent the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Justice and had nothing to do with your case. They are here for you. It is important to treat your mentor’s commitment with respect. Be on time, answer e-mails, and inform them if anything comes up.
  • Be honest and engaged.
    Your mentor does not know why you were sanctioned, and you are not obligated to share; however, the more you share about yourself, the more your mentor can help you. Disclose what you feel is necessary to work toward your goals, but if you don't feel comfortable sharing something, you don't have to.
  • Be open to trying new things.
    The experience is designed for you. If you would like to change something to make the meetings more enjoyable and productive, say so. Suggest a change in scenery or an interesting activity. Most importantly, be open to feedback, change, new relationships, challenging conversations, disagreements, and just about anything.
  • You get as much out of this experience as you allow yourself to.
    Your mentor is not a teacher or a parent. The relationship may even turn into a friendship that lasts longer than you're required to meet together..
  • Know what you want to get out of the experience.
    The more you articulate your goals for the experience, the better your mentor can help facilitate your achievement. Your mentor has interests, abilities, and points of view they hope to share with you.  Use them as a resource.
  • Have fun!

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