Career Design Lab

Mentor and actor roles

Every mentoring relationship is different, and there is no one correct model for the mentoring process. A mentor can have many roles depending on the actor's objectives and their own experience and competences. The actor always plays the main role in the process.
Two guys flying a kite on Otaniemi campus
Photo: Aleksi Poutanen

Mentor´s role

  • Supports the student in developing and achieving meaningful goals
  • Listens and asks the right questions
  • Helps and encourages thinking of different options and trying them in practice
  • Guides in building a professional network and suggests new contacts, places and perspectives
  • Is genuinely interested in the actor and mentoring
  • Guides to seek support from others as needed
  • Is neither an all-knowing answer bank nor a solution-oriented coach
  • Is open for new perspctives, listen, asks and challenges
person with a telescope

Actor´s role

  • Thinks carefully about what to expect from the process and where help is needed
  • Sets the goals for their own development and for the mentoring process
  • Is proactive, chooses discussion topics and prepares for meetings
  • Goes over the goals and their possible changes during the process with the mentor
  • Is open to new perspectives, asks, listens and also questions
Tips and tools for mentoring
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