The Wellesley Hive Mentee Resource: What is Mentorship?

The Wellesley Hive is a flexible, interactive virtual space for professional networking and mentorship. Whether you are a student or an alumnae (at any career stage), the the Hive is a platform to connect with the mentors in the Wellesley network. This resource is an overview of how to use the Hive to find short-term or long-term mentorship, informational interviews, job shadowing, and more.

The Wellesley Hive


Why do you need mentors?

Throughout your career journey, it is essential to periodically research a range of educational and professional options and reflect on how these options align with your interests, values, skills, and, ultimately, your unique career trajectory. In the midst of navigating options and assessing how they might fit into your life, it is helpful to have mentors who can support you through this thought, reflection, and decision-making process. A mentor is typically defined as someone who you can confide in or consult with regarding questions, concerns, and aspirations concerning your educational and professional development.

Whether you are exploring majors, internships, career fields, or jobs, it is crucial to have multiple and varied mentors who can provide you with diverse insights into the world of work. There is always value in sharing questions and exchanging ideas with trusted mentors, because they can speak from their own experience and knowledge, as well as their understanding of you and your journey. Think of these mentors as members of your personal advisory board, a group of trusted advisors with whom you consult when making important decisions in your career development process. 


What types of mentors could you have?

Mentorship comes in different forms, and your relationships with mentors will vary depending on your intentions, questions, and aspirations in a given season of life. Mentorship relationships will also evolve over time as those intentions, questions, and career aspirations grow and change.

Career Education understands that you will need varying levels of support throughout your career journey. Therefore, through the online platform The Hive, we are offering you access to Wellesley alumnae who have expressed interest in mentoring current students and other alumnae. Mentors will fall under the following categories:  

Flash Mentor
Commitment: Low
Flash mentorship allows you to receive quick or “flash” advice through short-term conversations, informational interviews, job shadows, or other low-commitment career learning experiences. These one-time or short-term opportunities are ideal for mentees who are exploring multiple industries, preparing for interviews and researching employers, or searching to connect with alumnae mentors when traveling to new cities or studying abroad. 

From the mentee perspective, flash mentoring is ideal for situations when you have specific questions or needs that could be resolved through a few interactions with a mentor.

Long-Term Mentor
Commitment: High
Long-term mentorship provides mentors and mentees with the opportunity to develop and strengthen a relationship over time, spanning far beyond an initial call, meeting, or informational interview. Long-term mentors can help you set goals, navigate personal and professional development, seek opportunities for growth, develop professional behavior, and achieve both personal and professional goals. The parameters of your mentorship relationship should be discussed early on with each mentor, and they may look different for each long-term relationship. 


What are useful terms to know for mentorship discussions?

When you talk with your mentors, they may use language used in career development and exploration. Below are common career-related terms and their definitions that are useful to know for mentorship discussions.

Elevator Pitch
A brief speech that summarizes your educational and professional background, skills, interests, and why you would be a strong candidate for a position. 

Informational Interviews
Informational interviews are conversations that allow you to research information about a career by talking to professionals in a particular job, company, industry, or field. Through these conversations, you can learn broadly about the norms and culture of a particular organization or career field, or specifically about an individual’s own career path and profession. 

Job Shadowing
Job shadowing is an experiential learning opportunity which allows you to learn more about a job, company, or industry by spending time with, or “shadowing,” a professional on the job for a designated amount of time. The length of a job shadow may vary, but it typically lasts for a day or less. In many ways, a job shadow is similar to an informational interview; however, job shadows can often be more extensive as they provide you with in-person exposure to a work setting.

Networking is connecting with people to exchange information, resources, and contacts as a way to enrich and advance your career. The purpose of networking is to build both quality and quantity in your professional relationships. It is most effective when there is an intention to form a reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship whenever possible. 

What do you do next?

Now that you have more information about what mentorship is, it is important for you to reflect on what your mentorship needs are. What types of mentors do you want on your personal advisory board? What flash mentorship opportunities would be most beneficial for you at this time? What types of long-term mentorship relationships would you like to develop? It is ideal to seek people who could fulfill distinct roles on this board. For more guidance on how to seek diverse mentorship, read Building Your Personal Advisory Board in the Wellesley Hive.