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Mentee’s Guide to a Successful Internship

Being a mentee is a very exciting new experience when shaping your career goals. To ensure a successful mentorship, a mentee and mentor should work together and build a relationship.

  • Do your research
    • Your Mentor is likely going to have publications you can review online. If you are unable to identify your mentor, you may ask your mentor or the administrator you were working with to be hired.
    • Review your Mentor’s previous work to prepare yourself when you learn about the research you will be conducting with them
  • Prepare
    • Ask your mentor if you should bring a laptop (for working independently on) or other materials. Good practice it to bring a pen and notepad to write notes down as you learn. Note, trying to type on a laptop while talking to the Mentor could be a distraction to both parties.
  • Introductions are Key
    • When introducing yourself consider the following:
      • What are your career goals?
      • How you think your career goals overlap with your Mentor’s research?
      • Your style of learning (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading/writing).
  • Communicate clearly and effectively with your Mentor
    • Make sure you understand the goals of the internship the Mentor has set out for you
    • Repeat back the task(s) you were assigned by your mentor to confirm understanding
  • Know your schedule and your mentor’s availability
    • Setting up a standing meeting with your Mentor is helpful for both parties. This way you can bring all your questions to a dedicated time and give your mentor updates on projects
  • Be proactive & intuitive
    • Problem solving in school is different than problem solving in real-life. When working with your mentor, do your background research prior to asking questions. This will help minimize questions where your mentor could get bogged down by
    • With this, it means your notes must be legible and clear to help you.
  • Set deadlines for yourself
    • Sometimes your mentor will not give you a deadline as they are unsure how long a task will take you. This is where you must set your own deadlines to ensure the task gets done.
  • Do not assume, ask questions for clarity!
    • It is always better to ask questions if you are missing a piece of information than to assume. If you assume wrong, you could end up doing the incorrect work which can affect deadlines.

This may sound contradictive to the previous tip, however, if you have no idea on what your mentor asked, bring it up to them as they explain the task for you to do.