By Barry Sweeny, 2003
Ideally, as soon as it is known that a protege will need a mentor:
- A mentor should be assigned.
- The protege should be alerted to that mentor’s name and contact information, such as phone number, e-mail, etc. and be told to prepare a list of questions for the mentor in advance of their first contact.
As soon as a mentor is assigned, he/she should be prompted by the program (letter? e-mail? phone call?) to try to:
- Contact the protege;
- Introduce him/herself, and provide the protege the mentor’s contact information;
- Get acquainted;
- Ask the protege if there are any questions for the mentor;
- The protege should ask the mentor if he/she has any questions for the protege.
- The pair should set a time, date, and place where they will meet to begin their work as a mentoring pair. Mentors should refer to the Checklist for Before the Protege Starts Work.
- The mentor should explain if there is anything the protege can do now to be better prepared when it all begins. This helps a protege to be better prepared when the protege starts work.
- Finally, many mentoring programs use a mentoring first meeting checklist, which should be referred to, or a mentoring contract which they expect each mentoring partner to read, sign and follow.
What should a PROTEGE do if NO mentor calls?
- Ask your mentoring program contact person (who sent you information that you were assigned a mentor?) how much time to expect it may take for the mentor to contact you.
- Wait a reasonable time for a contact. The person may be out of town or unavailable for any number of reasons. 1-2 weeks is reasonable.
- Check your e-mail, voice mail, and other message possibilities. Even if the mentor is out of town, he/she may try to reach you some way other than a phone call.
- If still no message or call, ask your mentoring program contact person for contact information for the mentor, and take the initiative by contacting the mentor yourself.