Mentoring 101

There are many perspectives on mentoring and many resources can be found for free online. The information below is a starting point to guide your mentoring partnership at APEGA.

If you have any questions along the way or are looking for resources not listed here, contact us at [email protected] and we will be happy to help!;

For more information on using the APEGA mentoring software, see the Mentoring Software Guide.

Your first 3 meetings: making the most of your time

Meeting #1

Here you'll want to get to know each other a bit. Discuss your backgrounds, experiences, and personal achievements, as well as what you're looking to accomplish in this partnership. By the end of your first meeting, you'll want to have an outline or rough plan of goal(s) to work through.

Meeting #2

By the end of your second meeting, you will likely know if this match is a good fit for you (remember, you can contact us to use the Graceful Exit feature if needed). You can also start using our mentoring agreement or your own worksheet to track goals.

Meeting #3

By now, you can likely begin working through topics and questions to meet the goals on your mentoring agreement or personal worksheet. Ideally, you will have established a structure for how your meetings will run.

Beyond Meeting 3

Be sure you are both clear on your expectations and what you want to gain from your meetings. Communicate when you need to cancel a meeting or if other changes happen that affect your mentoring partner.

Contact us at [email protected] if your situation has changed and you can no longer continue in the match or the mentoring program.

Responsibilities of mentors and mentees


Mentors are responsible for providing a space for mentees to discover, learn, and understand from the mentor's experience, knowledge, and insight. Ideally, conversations will ebb and flow with the ultimate goal of greater awareness and understanding for both people.

Many mentors find this process to be equally valuable for their own learning. Mentees often bring up new and different ideas for consideration. Mentors who are open and willing to learn often find the partnership much more enriching.


Mentees are responsible for their own learning. This means you are bringing your own questions, concerns, and ideas to the table for discussion with your mentor.

This does not mean mentees are the only active participants, and mentors are passive participants. However, as a mentee, if you are looking to learn or understand specific topics, it is up to you to let your mentor know.

Setting expectations

Unclear expectations usually cause matches to end early. It is important your first meeting sets the tone and both people understand each other's expectations.

Here are some tips on setting expectations.

  • How long will your meetings be? How often will you meet? Do you want to make action plans at the end of each meeting? Do you want to use a worksheet or our mentoring agreement to guide your goals? How will you handle cancellations?

  • Are you more introverted or extroverted? Do you prefer a more brainstorming-type conversation that may cover many topics, or do you prefer a more structured approach to discussing questions and topics?

  • There's a phrase that can describe trying to set goals: you don't know what you don't know. Whether goals are already thought about before the first meeting, or not, a rich discussion about the goals you would like to accomplish in your match will set the tone of your future meetings.

  • Should disagreement happen during your partnership, what course of action will you take to resolve it? Do you prefer to tackle issues right away or take some time to think about them? Make every effort to resolve issues among yourselves before contacting us for assistance.

Mentoring Resources

Log in to your mentoring account to access resources under the My Resources tab. They are not required to complete, but are there if you wish to use them. These resources include:

  • guide for university students
  • mentoring agreement
  • problem solving
  • personal evaluations
  • relationship review
  • SMART goals template