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Human Resources & Inclusive Community

Division and Department Resources

People Development

Mentor Program

Welcome to the DU Mentor Program!

Creating a culture of connection, competency building, career development and community! 

Mentoring is a developmental relationship; help by one person to another in making significant transitions in knowledge, work, or thinking for the benefit of personal, professional, and/or career-related growth. Ultimately, mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship. 

HRIC's Mentor Program began in 2014 to support the professional development of staff and faculty.  

All DU employees are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Announcing...the New Employee experience

Starting in 2021, the Mentor Program has a new goal: to reach every New Employee and offer a mentor as part of their onboarding experience. To intentionally build our community. 

Do you want to be a mentor and guide a new employee as they get acclimated to higher education, their role within the organization, and the University of Denver? Apply today to be a mentor to a Newly Hired Employee! 

Click HERE to view the Mentor Program Guidelines and learn if the program is right for you!

Benefits of Participating in a Mentor Program

  • Career Development
  • Increased Productivity
  • Access to Resources
  • Enhanced Onboarding Support
  • Leadership development​
  • Contribute to talent development at DU​
  • Serve as an ambassador for DU culture​
  • Career satisfaction​
  • Improved job performance​
  • Accelerate learning​
  • Access to resources, contacts, support, feedback and a fresh perspective​
  • Increase productivity and goal attainment​
  • Expand social circle and professional networks​
  • More insight into career path at DU and beyond​
  • Develop new skills​

How the Program Works

Mentor Process

  1. A prospective mentor fills out a Mentor Application
  2. Upon confirmation, the new Mentor will be listed in the Current Mentors Across Campus below. 
  3. Current Mentors will be contacted when a prospective Mentee requests working with them. 

Mentee Process

  1. The prospective "mentee" looks over the list of available mentors under the Current Mentors Across Campus list below and identifies the mentor they'd most like to work with. 
  2. The prospective mentee then completes the Mentee Application listing their first (and second) choice of mentors.
  3. The mentee will be contacted by the People Development team to go over the program, answer any questions, and confirm their mentor choice(s).

The Match: Establishing the Mentoring Relationship

  1. Both parties will be contacted once a match is confirmed.
  2. The mentor and mentee will each participate in Mentor Program Training, located in Pioneer@Work.
  3. Prior to your first mentoring meeting, the mentor and mentee will each use the resources in the Mentor Program Training to help get your mentoring relationship off to a good start.
  4. During the first meeting, the mentor and mentee will establish the frequency, duration, by what means the mentoring sessions will take place, and when and where to meet.
  5. At the end of the mentoring relationship, a program evaluation will go out to both parties.

FAQs

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a developmental relationship; help by one person to another in making significant transitions in knowledge, work or thinking.

What is a mentee?

A mentee is someone (staff or faculty) at DU who wants to develop his/her knowledge, skills, and/or awareness in a particular area. The mentee is the "driver" of the mentoring relationship.

What is a mentor?

A mentor is someone (staff or faculty) at DU who provides support and helps the mentee to review their situation through a process of reflection, questions, signposting, challenge, advice and feedback. Mentoring is undertaken this way rather than by advice to allow the mentee to come to their own decisions. A mentor is there to help the mentee on their own journey. 

How do I know if I need a mentor?

Triggers for getting a mentor can be career development or progression, improvement in personal performance, seeking a new or different role, to nurture and foster talent, where progress has been blocked, to help individuals through a challenging time, when seeking the advice of a mentor who has direct experience within a certain area, or for business growth.

What skills do I need to become a mentor?

Mentors should have a desire to bring about change and a willingness to help others. A mentor should have good active listening skills whilst leaving their own agendas and egos at the door. Additional overall business experience or specialized skills, competencies, industry or field experience is an asset depending on the mentor/mentee match. 

How do you become a mentor?

We'd suggest you first read through all the information available here on the website. This should give you a pretty good sense of the program. After reviewing the website, submit an application HERE

How do I choose a mentor?

It's best to decide what skills or experience you are looking for in a mentor and then consider your own goals when choosing one. A mentor can often be a role model or someone you aspire to be like. Think about their characteristics, can you relate to the mentor and do you respect them? Look at how they communicate; does it suit your style? Do they have experience in a field, industry, or line of work you are interested in? 

What if there isn't a mentor on the list that has what you are looking for?

This program is fluid (meaning that new mentors will be added while other mentors will be taken and unavailable while they are mentoring), new and available mentors will be popping up continuously. Keep checking the mentor list and trust that your mentor will show up eventually. Remember, everyone has something to teach and to learn. 

How is "coaching" different from "mentoring"?

Coaching is more performance-driven, designed to improve the professional's on-the-job performance with a strong focus on the coachee and helping them find the answers for themselves. 

Mentoring is more development-driven, looking not just at the professional's current job function but beyond, taking a more holistic approach to career development with a strong focus on the mentor's experience and insight.

How can I get the most out of a mentoring relationship?

From the beginning establish a working relationship, timescales, expectations, boundaries, and objectives. Be open to feedback, honest, and willing to share relevant information. Be ready to develop new ways of thinking, behaviors, and attitudes. Prepare for the mentoring process, setting goals, priorities, realistic expectations, and always review your progress. 

A mentorship is especially productive when the mentor believes in the mentee and if the mentor can learn from the mentee as mentoring is a two-way relationship.

How much time do I need to commit to a mentoring relationship?

A minimum of an hour a month is normally needed. It is up to each individual to agree to the length and time of the relationship. Most first meetings will take longer than subsequent ones.

Agreeing levels of support that works for both parties is essential. It is important to discuss at the start of any mentoring relationship the frequency, duration, by what means the mentoring sessions will take place, and when and where to meet. 

Mentoring Guidelines

The following guidelines must be discussed and agreed upon between a mentor and mentee right up front (first meeting) as this common understanding will establish the framework for your mentoring relationship.

  • The mentor/mentee relationship is voluntary and needs to be working for both parties.
  • It is recommended that you meet a minimum of three times during a three-month period (if possible). How, where, and when you meet is up to each mentoring team.
  • The mentor's advice and opinions are their own and do not necessarily represent the University of Denver.
  • It is the responsibility of the mentee to drive this process. If you're the mentee this means knowing what you want, initiating the meetings, and asking for what you need.
  • It's imperative to spell out expectations around confidentiality and trust in relation to your mentoring relationship and all things discussed.
  • Keep your commitments to each other. This includes showing up for scheduled meetings, being on time, and being responsible if you have to cancel by notifying each other ahead of time.
  • Include a "no-fault" provision for ending the mentoring relationship.
  • Define what success looks like for both mentor and mentee in your mentoring relationship in your first meeting.
  • Prepare to enjoy the mutual benefit of participating in an intentional professional development experience. 

 

How do I get started?

I am looking for a mentor! Fill out the Mentee Application

I want to be a mentor! Fill out the Mentor Application.

Current Mentors Across Campus

Look over the list of available mentors on the Current DU Mentors directory and identify the mentor you'd most like to work with.

If you want to work with a DU employee who is not currently listed, please reach out to them directly. Not sure what to say, we can help!

CONTACT

Mia Elizardi, Manager of Talent and Culture, mia.elizardi@du.edu