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Cargill Global Scholars Program

Mentorship Guidelines: Guide for Mentees


INT R O D UC T IO N
Congratulations on continuing in your second year as a Cargill Global Scholar. A signature feature
of the Cargill Global Scholars Program is the mentorship component, which seeks to help you nurture
and grow your academic and professional aspirations, and further support your journey of developing
leadership competencies so that you may advance new innovations and positively
contribute to your communities. Through this program, you are matched with a Cargill employee
who will serve as your mentor for the academic year. For the second year of the
Program, you have been matched with a new global mentor, who is located in a different country
from you.
As a mentee, you will work with your mentor in identifying your short and long term academic and
professional goals, and through your ongoing exchanges, your mentor will support you in reaching
those goals. We ask that you take your role as a mentee seriously and that you notify the Institute of
International Education (IIE) at Cargillglobalscholars@iie.org should you encounter any issues in your
relationship with your mentor.
Surveys will be administered at various intervals throughout the course of the mentorship program to
gauge the success of the program and determine whether any changes need to be introduced to
make the experience more rewarding for both the mentees and mentors. These surveys are a
requirement of your Terms of Agreement for participating in the Program, so please submit your honest
and candid feedback when requested by IIE.
This handbook provides tools and guidelines to help lead you through your responsibilities as a
mentee.

MENT OR SHI P GUI D E L I NE S


Key terms that define a mentor: Guide, leader, motivator, teacher, energizer, trusted advisor. A
mentor is an individual with experience and expertise in a certain area or field who is willing to spend
his or her time imparting this experience on to another person to help them develop personally and
professionally.
Key terms that define a mentee: Inquisitive, eager learner, listener, active seeker of advice and
guidance. A mentee is an individual who is eager to learn and seek advice from someone with more
experience than themselves, who will help them grow and develop personally and professionally.
Mentoring is a one-to-one relationship based on encouragement, constructive comments, openness,
mutual trust, respect, and a willingness to learn and share.
B ENE F IT S OF T HE M E NT O R IN G PR O GR A M
As a mentee, you will gain the most by sharing your career and development goals, successes and
failures, and by being open to feedback and advice. Mentors generally have knowledge, insight,
perspectives, and experiences that you do not. Listening, deeply reflecting, and having candid
dialogue with your mentor will help you make more informed decisions and choices. Additional
benefits include:

Expanded knowledge and perspective


Opportunity to broaden your personal network
Additional insight about how to handle a particular challenge or problem solve, e.g.
recovering from a failure, influencing others, leading a group, school-life balance, etc.
Support in identifying academic and professional goals
Development through exploring strengths and areas of opportunity, receiving candid
feedback, and understanding different perspectives through conversing in thoughtprovoking dialogue

It is important to understand that mentoring and participation in the Cargill Global Scholars Program
are not a guarantee of a role within Cargill or career sponsorship from the mentor.

M ENT EE R E SPO NSIB I L I T I ES A ND GU ID EL I NES


Remember to play host, not guest. As the one seeking advice, it's easy to see yourself as the "guest"
in this relationship. Remember that this program is an opportunity for you to grow, develop and
learn from a working professional who has a lot of experience to impart. To maximize your
mentorship experience, initiate conversations, start another topic if a discussion starts to wane, and
give your mentor feedback about what is most helpful and areas that you are interested in learning
more about. Mentees should:

Be proactive
Ask mentors insightful questions
Formulate preliminary academic and professional goals
Initiate conversations with mentor (i.e. be an active participant)
Reflect on mentors questions and feedback
Respond to mentors communication in a timely manner
Share information about curricular and extracurricular interests and passions
Demonstrate enthusiasm in interactions with mentor

Meeting Guidelines:

Phone or virtual (Skype, etc.) meetings should be scheduled for at least once
every two months (once a month is highly encouraged).

Keep in touch with your mentor throughout the month using e-mail, however be
respectful of your mentors time and schedule. See tips for effective virtual mentorship
(page 5).

Goal Setting:
Work with your mentor to define and set short and long-term academic and professional goals.
Activities, discussions and learning opportunities recommended by your mentors will be aligned to
best support your development toward these goals. Your progress against goals will be discussed
throughout the mentorship.
Confidentiality and Trust:
Maintain privacy and confidentiality of conversations with your mentor. They will do the same. It is
important to discuss confidentiality and trust during your first meeting with your mentor to ensure
that you have alignment. You should speak freely about any questions or concerns that you may
have. These questions and concerns may relate to any facet of your life whether it is academic,
professional, personal, or social.

W T O ST R UC T UR E Y O U R R EL A T IO NSH I P
Preparation
In preparation for your first meeting with your mentor, the following questions will help you think
about what you want to develop and gain through the course of this relationship:

What facets of my life are important for me to share with my mentor so that together we can
start setting my short and long-term goals?

What could I share about myself that would help us get to know each other (e.g. academic
history, career history, leadership style, successes, missed opportunities, personal life)?

What opportunities have I been seeking to gain a better understanding of what I want my
academic and professional path to be?

What am I curious about when I think of my mentor?

What are my top three strengths? What three things are possible barriers to reaching my
potential?

What excites me most?

What do I hope to gain from this particular mentoring relationship?


First Meeting
During your first meeting with your mentor you will create some basic guidelines to help structure
your relationship. Some questions and topics to address should include:

What do I see as my mentors role?


What are our ground rules for confidentiality, openness, feedback, etc.?
Are there any topics that are off limits (i.e. personal life)?
What am I looking to gain from this experience?
How should we communicate and how often? (Reminder: communication should be at least
once every two months).
How will we schedule meetings? How will we approach rescheduling meetings, if needed?

Your first few meetings should be focused on getting to know one another and building a relationship
of trust. Additional discussion topics that will help guide your first few meetings with your mentor
are outlined in the next section.
Closure
A mentoring relationship is not expected to be permanent. It is up to you and your mentor to
determine whether youd like to continue to keep in touch once the mentorship year comes to its
conclusion.
The following are topics to discuss during your wrap-up session with your mentor:

How well the mentorship relationship goals have been met

Discuss what facets of the relationship went well and what each of you would do differently
next time (takeaways for both about being a mentor and mentee)

Tell your mentor what you have valued most in the relationship

Express your thanks


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D ISC USSI O N T O PI C S
Below are some reflection questions to help guide your first few discussions with your mentor.
These questions will help you share with your mentor your academic and professional goals,
challenges, strengths and a bit of personal information.

Academic
Development

Career
Guidance

Personal
Development

Which of the classes that you have taken thus far did you find most interesting? Examples may be
provided both within your major and outside of the major.
Which classes are you most looking forward to taking? Examples may be provided both within your
major and outside of the major.
What kinds of experiences are you hoping to engage in while pursuing your undergraduate degree?
What made you decide to pursue your field of study?
What successes have you recently experienced? Why were they successful? Examples can come
from academics or extra-curricular activities.
What are your short-term and long-term academic goals?
What skills would you like to develop?
What do you see yourself doing after you complete your undergraduate degree? What steps are you
planning on taking in order to reach those goals?
What type of career are you most interested in pursuing?
What are your short-term and long-term professional goals?
What do you do to expose yourself to new ideas and new ways of thinking?
What are your current strengths and areas you wish to develop? What steps are you taking to
improve these areas?
What are your interests and hobbies?
What individuals, books, experiences or events have most impacted who you are?
What are you passionate about?
Have you traveled or lived abroad? If so, what did you enjoy most about your international
experience?

Tips on Virtual Mentoring Relationships: E-mail is a fast, easy and inexpensive way to communicate with your mentor
between meetings.

Frequency of contact is important, especially in the first few months. It will help you move beyond small talk and
show that you want to discuss a variety of issues.
Lync, Skype, FaceTime, and WebEx are suggested technologies to connect with your mentor. Please work with
your mentor to determine the method that works best for your communications.
Show enthusiasm! In e-mails, this means responding promptly, giving thoughtful answers, thanking your mentor
for sharing ideas, using exclamation points when appropriate, giving feedback and telling him or her that you're
enjoying the experience.

Dealing with Difficult Situations

Contact IIE at Cargillglobalscholars@iie.org and alert them of the situation. Dont be afraid
to solicit advice on how best to handle the situation.
Dont feel obligated to answer every question raised by your mentor if you feel that the
topic area is too personal/sensitive. Tell your mentor that you do not feel comfortable
commenting on the question.