Mentoring Models

You can expect to engage in a range of mentoring relationships throughout your career. Even early career professionals can serve as peer mentors to colleagues. Seasoned professionals offer a breadth of experience and institutional history, invaluable training ground for someone just getting started. And mid-careerists might work with someone senior to hone or advance their career or might offer content-specific perspective to new hires. Here are some specific mentoring models.

  • One-on-one mentoring – This traditional type of mentoring features someone established in their career helping someone new to the field. Such relationships may be formal, assigned within a department, or self-selected by either the mentor or mentee. Together, the mentor and mentee can decide on a pre-defined time limit for the relationship or enjoy the connection for a very long time, even after one or both parties have left the company where they met.
  • Mentoring panel – Working with a panel is generally a more formal arrangement through the workplace in which one or more new employees meet regularly over a set period of time with experienced employees.
  • Functional Mentoring – Someone tasked with a new project, for example writing a grant proposal, finds a content-expert mentor to help with developing a specific skill set or completing a pre-defined project.
  • Peer mentoring – People at the same level of training, rank, or experience meet to share their experiences, work together on projects, and provide one another with supportive feedback. The group may invite experts to visit with them. This kind of mentoring can also be quite social.
  • Group Mentoring – A blend of a mentoring panel (more formal) and a peer group (less formal), a group mentoring scenario generally involves a range of employees who bring more or less experience to the conversation. Group mentoring typically involves social interaction, a flow of conversation, and shared experiences.