Mentoring Program FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions - Mentees

Do I have to sign up ever year to participate in the formal mentoring program?
No, once you have signed up for the formal mentoring program you will remain in the program until you ask to be removed or graduate. 

What is Gusties Connect?
Gusties Connect (aka PeopleGrove) is an online networking platform. Within this program you can explore the community and connect with hundreds of people who have agreed to be a mentor specifically to Gustavus students. The program has a similar look and feel to LinkedIn. You can also register to be part of the formal mentoring program through this site.

If I don't feel ready to participate in the formal pairing, is there anything else I can do to get started?
You can still be part of the Gustie Connect community, without being part of the formal mentoring program. By exploring the community you can get a good feel of what our mentors have to offer.
What if I had a bad experience in the program last year?
As with every experience, what you put into it is often what you get out of it. If you had a bad experience last year try some new strategies of how you could make things better this time around. Examples: Reflect on how often you reached out to your mentor or what conversations seemed to go best?

Can I have the same mentor as I did the previous year?
Yes, but you will need to reach out to the Mentoring Specialist prior to matching selection. However, getting matched with a new mentor is recommended as it increases your professional network. 

Why am I paired with someone not in my major?
Pairings are not matched solely by major. The system also takes into count your career interests, preferred location, activities, personal interests or if you bookmarked anyone in the community as someone you would like to connect with. Also, every mentoring relationship is valuable and you can learn a variety of things that can be applied to any major or career interest. 

I don't know how to reach out to my mentor. What should I say?
The first stage of mentorship is about establishing a rapport and getting to know each other. Tell them about yourself. Discuss why you choose Gustavus or your major. 

What if my mentor is not reaching out to me?
As a mentee it's your role to initiate the conversation. If you continue to reach out without any response please contact the Mentoring Specialist to help.

How often should I meet with my mentor?
The goal is to have consistent monthly contact with your mentor. However, it's truly based on whatever works best for you and your mentor.

My mentor lives out of state. What should I do?
Communication can occur by means such as by email, phone, Skype, in-person, etc. You can also communicate directly through the People Grove platform. 

I can't attend the kickoff event, can I still participate in the mentoring program?
Of course! While strongly encouraged, there is no requirement to attend the kickoff event.

Why should I use the mentoring program?
The program helps prepare you for the transition to professional life upon graduation. It's designed to help you develop interpersonal, professional, and leadership skills as well as building a professional network. It also encourages you to keep an open mind and explore varied possibilities.

If I already have a full-time job offer, should I still participate in the mentoring program?
Yes, as it's a great way to network and find other opportunities or develop strengths you can use in your current position.

Will my mentor get me a job or internship?
The Gustavus Mentoring Program is NOT a job or internship placement program for students. Partners are welcome to explore and discuss job and internship options and work on applications together if they choose to do so but there should be no expectation that a job or internship at the mentor's employment will develop out of this experience. 

What is acceptable to ask my mentor?
Examples of conversation starters:
1. Ask how their network has helped them in their career, i.e. landing an interview or job offer, receiving a promotion, finding new clients, etc.
2. How can you approach meeting new people.
3. How do you start the conversation?
4. Ask about the importance of effective communication skills: smiling when you speak (including when talking on the phone), maintaining eye contact, having a firm handshake, being an active listener, and finding common areas of interest.
5. Talk about the importance of following up effectively and how to initiate the next steps.

I am still undecided on my career, does it make sense to have a mentor?
Yes, no matter what your mentor's career is they can share with you their personal stories of accomplishment, overcoming adversity, perseverance, etc. 

Will there be an orientation before the kickoff?
There is a mandatory in person orientation at the start of each year.