Being a mentee is an exciting and valuable opportunity for any professional woman – at any age and at any stage of a career. It can give you a sense of direction, build self-confidence, and help grow your network. It’s having a role model to talk to, a coach in your corner, a champion on your side, a guide in your professional journey, and an advisor who knows you well.

The following are some strategies to help mentees build a relationship with their mentors:

  • You control the course of your own development. It’s up to you to identify your goals for the relationship, as well as keep the focus on achieving them.
  • Use active listening skills in discussions with your mentor.
  • Be prepared to ask for specific advice on your skill set, ideas, plans, and goals. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for your mentor to respond.
  • Be engaged and communicate clearly and succinctly.
  • Be responsive and make it easy for your mentor to give you honest, specific feedback. Ask for it early in your relationship.
  • If you get some corrective feedback, don’t defend yourself. Thank your mentor for being honest with you. Then follow it up by asking for specific examples.


  • Expansion of personal/professional network
  • Build confidence
  • Enhance career trajectory or career path
  • Increased self-awareness and discipline
  • Sounding board for ideas/plans
  • Potential to accelerate development and growth
  • Positive and constructive feedback on personal and professional development issues
  • Improve workplace skills
  • Increase resources and tools to solve workplace issues
  • Achieve goals set forth

Expectations of ANUW Mentees

  • It’s your job to develop and communicate your goals, not your mentor’s job.
  • Stay active and engaged in the relationship and follow through on your commitments.
  • Keep expectations realistic and clear.
  • Accept both positive and negative feedback: it’s important for your growth!
  • Be yourself and be honest.
  • Don’t be afraid of your mentor’s silence.
  • Give back.
  • Pay it forward.