Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

What is a Mentor?

Almost anyone can be a mentor.

A mentor is typically defined as an older or more experienced person — other than a person’s parents — who provides guidance and support to a younger or less experienced mentee. Mentors typically don’t include romantic partners.

But other than that, almost anyone can be a mentor. Sometimes people feel emotionally very close to their mentor, other times it’s more of a professional relationship. And mentoring relationships can grow in almost any setting — including extended families, schools, extracurricular activities, workplaces, or places of worship.

Relationships with mentors can take on lots of different forms:

  • A professor or instructor who provides extra academic support or career advice
  • An academic advisor who gave you information about general and major requirements and how to navigate college, often seeing you informally between meetings if you needed to ask a quick question
  • A family friend who helps you think through problems and challenges

Take a second to think about a person or people in your life that might fit the definition of a mentor. You might be part of a formal mentoring program and have been paired with someone who will support you as a mentor. You may also have other people in your life who serve as informal mentors – someone in your life that you’ve connected with outside of a formal program.