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The University of Southampton
Professional Development

Getting started

mentor getting started

The first step is to speak to your Line Manager, Director, Head of Department/School or colleagues, to find out about existing or potential mentoring opportunities within your area. Whether you're considering becoming a mentor or mentee, it is beneficial for both parties to gain an understanding of the key things to consider before getting started.


See below for further information for both mentors and mentees:


As a Mentor, you should consider:

As a Mentee, you should should consider:

Once you have chosen a mentor think about:

Preparation will be key in building and maintaining the relationship.

mentor chatting to mentee

If you are considering becoming a mentor for the first time, you should spend some time preparing and communicating with the mentee to advise on type of preparation that they could do. The questions below will help to set the ground rules for the relationship.


Do I know who my mentee is?

  • What do I know about their current situation?
  • What are their current strengths and development opportunities?
  • Are their goals clearly defined?
  • Why does my mentee want mentoring?

Am I prepared for this meeting?

  • How can I introduce myself?
  • What information do I want to learn about my mentee?
  • What ground rules need to be agreed during this meeting?

What can I offer my mentee?

  • In which area(s) does my mentee want guidance?
  • What experience do I have that matches my mentee’s goals?
  • What skills can I support my mentee with?
  • What information about the organisation and culture can I share in order to help my mentee progress?
  • Who is in our shared network that may be able to help my mentee?
mentee campus

As a new mentee, you should prepare for the discussion by putting together some questions for the mentor that will help you get to know each other and build the relationship.




Current position

  • What would I like to achieve?
  • Why do I want a mentor?
  • What support would I like a mentor to provide?
  • What is my current position?
  • What are my goals?

How would I decribe myself?

  • What are my strengths?
  • How do I personally define 'success'?
  • What do I find challenging or frustrating?
  • How will I know if I have achieved my goals?
further resources

Further Resources

Mentoring seeks to enable you to reach your potential by linking you to the support of an experienced colleague.  There are various mentoring schemes running across the University.

If you know of any existing opportunities or schemes within the University that we can promote through these web pages, please email the details (including School/Department and a contact email address) to Leadership & Management Development

Other Useful Links

If you are looking for an academic mentor, you can email CHEP

Gaining fellowship of Advance HE through CHEP PGCAP or CHEP PREP

Applying for a National Teaching Fellowship or Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence – CHEP NTF

If you are interested in mentoring within the Faculty of Medicine, click here

If you are interested in mentoring students, click here

For additional resources on mentoring, visit:



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