The amount of interaction a mentee needs with a mentor is highly variable, depending on their research experience, personality, and the stage of the relationship. Putting in additional time at the beginning of a mentoring relationship is highly recommended for by both mentors and mentees alike. You do neither yourself nor your mentee a favor when agreeing to mentor if you are not able to give the time it will take to cultivate the relationship.
Do you have the time to commit to the following professional behaviors?
- Promptly return emails, phone calls, etc
- Respond to scientific drafts with timely and meaningful feedback
- Understand that the “5 minute question” always takes longer and see the time invested as important to helping the mentee develop and advance
- Allocate regularly scheduled mentoring meetings and protect uninterrupted time for mentee
- Learn about the person, as well as his/her discipline, research project and home department
- Prioritize the mentee and their needs, sometimes over your own. As one mentee notes: “I think the amount of time the person may have available for you is important. You want them to smile when they see you, not go…’another thing in my week’.”