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Glasfasern aus der Optoelektronik in der Fakultät für Elektrotechnik, Informatik und Mathematik, Foto: Universität Paderborn

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Glasfasern aus der Optoelektronik in der Fakultät für Elektrotechnik, Informatik und Mathematik, Foto: Universität Paderborn

Mentors

A mentor can assume different roles, which arise from contents of mentoring: She/he is advisor and mediator, facilitator and door opener, role model and contact person. The mentor is not in the role of a mother or teacher, as she/he does not occupy her/his role for a lifetime, neither is the mentee dependent on her mentor. A mentor can assume different roles, which arise from contents of mentoring: She/he is advisor and mediator, facilitator and door opener, role model and contact person. The mentor is not in the role of a mother or teacher, as she/he does not occupy her/his role for a lifetime, neither is the mentee dependent on her mentor.

As a mentor, you…

  • are interested in strengthening your mentee's competences and contribute to their progress.
  • are ready to pass on your own work- and personal experience, offer an insight to your professional task fields and operations and exemplify your life style.
  • have knowledge about the informal structures and norms of your department and are willing to share this knowledge.
  • have a good network of contacts and you can imagine employing these for your mentee.
  • are open to learning something new, even by the mentee and to see it as an enriching aspect of the mentoring-partnership.
  • have dealt with the subject of chances and barriers of female career planning and have an interest in campaigning for increasing the proportion of women in your faculty.
  • Are ready to invest time in the mentoring-partnership. On average, a mentee and her mentor meet up every six to eight weeks.
Chances for mentors

Mentoring is a profitable process for both partners; the mentors can also derive an advantage from their own commitment.

  • Mediate/Share your experience:
    Your mentee will be an interested and thankful listener.
  • Self reflexion:
    Questions and opinions by your mentee, may animate you to reflect on your own biography and your own way of working.
  • Challenge:
    By interacting with your mentee you will be confronted with new ideas and attitudes, which may broaden your horizon. The conscious attend to specific topics can lead to new conclusions.
  • Feedback:
    The mentee sees you and your behaviour as an outsider. The openness and the confidentiality in your mentoring partnership, enable you to receive an open feedback about your perceived image and the way you work.
  • Strengthening of your own competences:
    By training your active listening skills and empathic guidance during the mentoring-process, you can enhance your counselling skills.
  • Contact:
    Via your mentee, you stay in touch with the younger generation and their intellectual world. By networking with other mentors, you can get in contact with other female/male experts and gain new impulses for your own professional development on one side and on the other side, you can also connect to mentors from other departments and network on a interdisciplinary level.
  • Influence on the personnel development:
    The facilitation of the mentees offers the chance to win qualified young professionals for your field of research and working area.
Tasks and roles of a mentor
  • Counsellor and broadcaster of knowledge:
    The mentee will want advice on topics about her current professional situation. You are willing to evaluate, give advice as well as, share your own experiences and knowledge about structures and rules.
    If the focus is on specific knowledge, you can give your mentee theoretical input and think about the practical implementation together.
    This can also be practised in role-plays. You may also transmit knowledge by letting your mentee accompany you to meetings or by letting her be part of current projects or working processes. This way, the mentee can see directly how you go about certain tasks and you can reflect on them afterwards.
  • Supporter:
    You take part in the development of your mentee's strengths: Your experiences qualify you to distinguish your mentee's competences. You give her awareness for her competences and reflect on how she can strengthen them and in which situations she make use of them. You encourage her to try new behaviour skills and talk about the experiences she makes. Possibly, you can offer her projects, chores or tasks in which she can practise these skills.
  • Trainings Partner:
    Allegedly, we memorise about 10% of what we hear, around 60% of what we see and around 90% of what we perform ourselves. We learn best of our own experiences. You encourage your mentee to make own experiences.  In preparation you serve as a training partner. You take the ideas and initiatives of your mentee seriously, talk about procedures, discuss possible consequences and review the experiences gained. In the process the mentee can ask questions, which one would not necessarily ask in occupational contexts, like how one should act during certain events or circles for example.
  • Career coach:
    Another aspect of mentoring is to advance your mentees professional career. Talk about goals and on how to achieve them. Based on your experiences, you surely know about advantages and disadvantages for career planning. You can talk to your mentee about problems, which may occur, and how they can be tackled.
  • Door Opener:
    If possible, help your mentee to establish contacts, which you believe, may be useful. You can introduce her to networks and talk to her about how she can establish further contacts herself.
  • Reflect on own role:
    During mentoring you should always reflect on your own role. This way you can prevent yourself of “giving too much” or to act as a “saviour”. It is not your responsibility to ensure your mentee's well-being or that her studies are going as planned. If your mentee has questions, by which you can't help, tell her this and set boundaries.
Application

To apply as a mentor, please fill out the profile sheet for mentors.
Please send us the profile sheet postal or digital until the 31st May.

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