Mentor Roles and Responsibilities
The five main tasks of a mentor are to establish a personal relationship, help the student to develop career skills, assist the student in obtaining resources, increase students’ abilities to interact with other social and cultural groups, and to encourage development in new field-related competencies. Most importantly, the mentor must foster an environment of open communication. Regular face-to-face contact is best for developing the kind of relationship conducive to such communication; however, if that is not always possible, regular contact by telephone or email will help to forge the necessary personal connections.
Mentors must keep in mind that students have different personalities and learning styles. As a result, they may need different kinds of support from their mentors. To develop a positive working relationship, the mentor should develop an understanding of the student’s learning style and adjust accordingly.