5 Rules for Being a Successful Mentor and Mentee

Mentorship is a universal language that has helped guide some of the world’s most impactful CEOs, artists and humanitarians.

The late former Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs was a known mentor to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Celebrated author and poet Maya Angelou was a major influence on entrepreneur and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey’s career. Even Mother Teresa credits a mentor for helping guide her life’s mission and impact.

What is clear is that mentorship matters. Dean of Drexel’s Pennoni Honors College, Paula Marantz Cohen, PhD, offers five helpful rules to inspire a successful mentor/mentee relationship.

  1. Be open to the vibe you get from people you meet. A good rapport is necessary for good mentorship and menteeship.
  2. Be willing to take and give criticism. A good mentor knows how to give constructive criticism, and a good mentee knows how to take it.
  3. Be two-way in your conversation. A good mentor does not just talk about herself; and a good mentee doesn’t expect to be always at the center of interest.
  4. Be able to disagree. Not everything you say as a mentor needs to be adopted. As a mentee, know that not all advice is good advice and that it’s healthy to sometimes disagree.
  5. Be grateful. Recognize that it takes time and effort to mentor; it takes a willingness to be vulnerable to be a mentee. The best gifts you can give to the other are gratitude and respect.

Want to learn more about what mentoring is?

Pennoni Honors College invites you to join a panel discussion series, “P2: The Value of Mentorship,” Thursday, Nov. 10 from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Paul Peck Alumni Center.

This panel discussion will look at what mentoring is, mentoring at different stages of your career, mentoring as a mutually beneficial partnership, and how mentorship differs from advocacy and sponsorship.

The panel will include Valerie Graves, a creative director of such Fortune 500 accounts such as Ford, General Motors, AT&T, Burger King, General Foods, and Pepsi. Graves was one of the first black copywriters at the renowned ad/marketing agencies BBDO, Kenyon & Eckhardt, and JWT and went on to serve as chief creative offer at the UniWorld and Vigilante/Leo Burnett agencies as well senior vice president of creative services at Motown Records.

Watch the video invitation and RSVP to join the discussion!

For media inquiries contact Emily Storz, news officer, els332@drexel.edu or 215-895-2705.


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