Starting a Mentorship Program at MIT
It is important to know who your audience is. Who is going to benefit from being a part of your program?
Mentors come in all shapes and forms. They can be coaches, academic advisors, older students, alums, professors, or anyone that can help students develop into better students, eventually better professionals, or just a better person. Its best to have a targeted group of people that you would like to have mentored then you can think about the type of person or professionals that could give advice and take on the role of a mentor.
Becoming a Mentor
At MIT, many existing advising relationships often develop into mentoring relationships. Not all mentorship or mentor/mentee relationships need to be a part of formal programs. Sometimes the best inspirations come from a natural progression from advising to mentoring.
Being a mentor means being available. Having an open door. Mentors need to know that they may be a part of a larger web of support that a student or staff member may look to for guidance. You may already be a mentor and not even know it.
All advisors, or teachers, or professors, or upperclassmen can become mentors for students. The ability to communicate with students on their level is very important when developing a mentee/mentor relationship. The more interest you take in another persons challenges or fears the stringer the base is to build the mentorship relationship on.
Getting a Mentor
Anyone that you feel comfortable with and seek advice from can be a mentor. You can formally join a mentorship program at MIT or you could create your own program with a specific population in mind. Maybe the Solar car team would like to mentor students interested in solar technology. Maybe the basketball team would like to help tutor or mentor local grade school students. The point is that there a tremendous amount of opportunities at MIT to take part in or help develop a mentoring role or to be mentored.