Being a good mentor



By the end of the mentorship, we hope that your mentee will see you as an older role model that they are looking forward to meeting at university. Some mentors and mentees have ended up becoming good friends at university, while others have just been happy to say hi when they pass on the street. Either of these scenarios are fine and can have equally successful outcomes. The most important thing is that your mentee gets a more realistic sense of what life at their target university feels like, and that they are equipped with the best possible support for making a strong application.

We don’t expect mentors to do tutoring. This would take up too much time, and since we are not able to pay our mentors we think that would be a big ask. However, if your mentee is sitting the STEP exam (for Maths) or revising for a paper that you think you could offer some support on, you’re welcome to do that. If you choose to do this, just make sure that you’re clear about what you can offer and how much time you can spend so that this doesn’t eat into your university work.


Setting expectations

The most important component of mentoring is to set clear expectations with your mentee so that it is manageable with your university schedule. We expect you to spend about one our per month per mentee. You may choose to do more than this, but we recommend that you set the expectations clearly so you don't end up with too much work. It may help to ask your mentee to prepare things for each call so that you can make the sessions effective and centred on a particular part of the application. 🤓


We recommend that you schedule recurring monthly meetings for you and your mentee at the same time each month (please also copy in in the invite, as per our requirements on the next page), and that you send a calendar invite to your mentee’s email address with a built in reminder to ensure that they remember it. You're the older and wiser one here, so it's up to you to do the 'responsible' stuff. 😳

Friendly atmosphere

Your mentee will most likely be a bit shy to talk to someone who is currently doing all the things they could only dream of doing. Therefore it's good to be very friendly in your introductory call to put your mentee at ease. 🤩

When scheduling a call…

  1. Send your mentee a few suggested times that you are available for a call.

  2. Ask them if they want to suggest a few points that they would most like to bring up (but make clear that otherwise you have a few ideas to start with).

  3. Ensure you’ve agreed on the forum for the call (eg. Google Hangouts, or our favourite - if you make an account you’ll be able to just generate a shareable link for the call).This is important so that someone doesn’t end up waiting in an online call.

  4. Send a calendar invite using Google Calendar or a calendar system of your choice so that neither of you forget! 

For a good meeting…

Always arrive a few minutes early even for online meetings and send an email to let them know that you’re there. This will signal to your mentee that you take their and your time seriously and set a tone of being professional about the mentorship.  📅 

Always take a moment to prepare for each meeting so that you can make the most out of your time. If you’re mentoring for our Application Mentoring programme, you can use these sample mentorship sessions with pre-prepared to-do lists if you want. 💻