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About Mentoring

What is Mentoring?

The term "mentoring" originates from Homer's Odyssey - the character Mentor coaches and counsels Telemachus, Odysseus' son as Telemachus prepares to take on the responsibilities of the family in his father's absence. The term mentoring has been used ever since to describe a relationship where an individual receives advice, coaching and/or counseling from a more senior wise counsel. For the mentor, it is an opportunity to develop an individual both personally and professionally; for the mentee, it is an opportunity to learn from an experienced person. Typically, these relationships last several years and often end in colleagueships and/or friendships.

Mentoring is not...

  • A "quick fix" to a mentee's problem.
  • A personal counseling session for the mentee.
  • A method of motivating a mentee who is unwilling to take responsibility for his/her own development.
  • A job interview.
  • A way for a mentee to gain employment, contacts or financing for a project.

Benefits of Mentoring

Mentoring partners are interested in developing a personal relationship built on mutual respect and trust. This type of mentoring can be characterized as a two-way exchange of information, knowledge and expertise. Learning from each other is just one benefit of participation in a mentoring relationship, others are outlined below.

Benefits for the Mentor

  • Personal satisfaction from fostering the professional development of a student.
  • Opportunities to strengthen knowledge base and improve communication skills as students expose mentor to new ideas and perspectives.
  • Improvement of coaching, leadership, teaching and counseling skills.
  • Sense of accomplishment by assisting an emerging professional to develop his/her potential.
  • Personal growth and development.
  • Demonstrates commitment to personal and professional development.
  • Staying connected with other members of the Clemson University business community.

Benefits for the Mentee

  • Contact with top executives/graduates who are willing to guide and support the mentee during their initial professional development.
  • Increased confidence in the workforce environment.
  • Challenges to set goals and achieve personal standards.
  • Provides a forum to dialogue with and receive advice from experienced professionals.
  • Development of new, professional contacts.
  • Development of a relationship with a person who can be a role model and sounding board to give feedback on career paths.
  • Forming networks with graduates of the Clemson University business community.