Faculty and Staff Mentoring

Tips for Mentoring LSAMP Scholars

To get the most out of your mentoring experience, it is important to consider what topics first and second-year students might be interested in discussing. You have specialized knowledge and resources that you can share focused on:

  • Coursework
  • Study strategies
  • University resources
  • Departmental events
  • Professional organizations and conferences
  • Scholarships, Grants, and funding opportunities
  • Internships
  • Research opportunities
  • Graduate school
  • Potential careers

It is appropriate for you to work to shape your meetings with your mentee based on what they are hoping to gain from your meetings. For instance, if they seem unsure about their major, then you can spend time discussing these feelings. In addition to your discussions, you can also make suggestions about the types of activities you think might be valuable. For instance, you can invite your mentee to your research laboratory or group meetings.

Because your mentee might feel a little intimidated meeting with a faculty, conversations might be challenging at first. Finding ways to share your personal experience and connect with your mentee is key to cultivating a strong mentor/mentee relationship. Below are examples of questions that might guide your meetings.

Getting to Know Your Mentee

  • What made you decide to come to this institution?
  • What majors are you thinking about pursuing? (Make sure to communicate that it is okay if they’re not sure!)
  • What classes are you taking? How are they going? What’s your favorite/least favorite? Why?
  • Have you joined any clubs/activities?

If you are mentoring a first year student, remember, the first semester of college is challenging for most students. It is likely that students are experiencing huge changes in their academics (e.g., rigor and pacing of courses) and their social life (e.g., learning how to make new friends).

Example Activities

  • A meal at which the mentor describes his/her research
  • A tour of the laboratory with explanations by graduate students of their projects
  • Introductions to other faculty researchers and their laboratories
  • Short hands-on activities, projects, or experiments
  • Assisting in data collection