A Guide to Mentoring Students

The following guide informs and advises federal public service departments and agencies about mentoring students. It may be used as is, or adapted to best reflect the operational realities of the organization.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a one-to-one relationship based on encouragement, constructive comments, openness, mutual trust, respect, and a willingness to learn and share. It exists between a more experienced employee (sometimes, but not necessarily, a supervisor) and a less experienced employee (e.g. a student).

What do mentors do?

The mentor is a model, a motivator and a counsellor to the student. The mentor's responsibilities include:

What makes a good mentor?

Mentors, while often very different in personality or management style, have several characteristics in common. A good mentor:

How does mentoring benefit the mentor?

The opportunity to:

How does mentoring benefit the student?

How does mentoring benefit the department or agency?

Mentoring resources

Many federal departments and agencies have developed their own mentoring programs. To find more information, contact the Human Resources Branch or Division in your department or agency.

Sample mentoring agreement

Attached is a sample mentoring agreement. Student and mentor pairs are encouraged to draw up a mentoring agreement to help clarify their respective roles and expectations. The agreement, while not binding, sets the framework of the relationship. It should be drawn up during the first week of the assignment and reviewed halfway through the term.

Appendix - Sample Mentoring Agreement

We are entering voluntarily into a mutually-beneficial mentoring relationship. This relationship is intended to be a rewarding experience during which our time together will be spent in personal and professional development activities. Features of our mentoring relationship shall include the following:

If the mentor is not the student's supervisor, the supervisor is aware of the relationship and agrees to provide the student the time required to meet with the mentor.

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