The next few months are critical to your mentee's ongoing success and having a strong finish to their first year of college. Now is the time to plan for the immediate future and the upcoming summer months. To start the conversation, send your mentee a quick text asking them about one personal goal and one academic goal that they would like to complete in the next three months. Be sure to include your own personal and professional goals in the text. This is a great way to jumpstart the conversation before getting into specifics. It also gives your mentee a glimpse into what is important to you at your place of work and in your personal life.
For mentees in at a two year college completing their first year means that they are halfway through their program. What does your mentee need to do this semester to stay on track academically? What courses are going well? What courses does your mentee need additional support with? What is your mentee doing to stay connected to their college community outside of their academic experience? Is your mentee on track to meet their program requirements? What summer opportunities might your mentee consider to better prepare them for the final year of college.
For mentees at a four year institution, the first year can be a major adjustment both academically and personally. However, your mentee still has plenty of time to change their mind and actually declare a major. This semester you can help your mentee to have a strong finish to their freshman year. Find out what areas your mentee is excelling in as well as the areas they are struggling in. This will help you support your mentee is creating goals that are attainable.
Regardless of pathway, the S.M.A.R. T. goal structure is a great one to suggest to your mentee. Your mentee was first introduced to this concept in high school and it is used in many different professions. The best part is that the structure lends itself to task completion which helps your mentee build a sense of accomplishment as they work toward a larger goal.
Prompts for Communication:
While S.M.A.R.T goals provide excellent goal-setting structure, avoid beginning the conversation with them. Otherwise, the interaction may seem a bit transactional. Start with a personal check-in instead. Here are some questions that you might ask your mentee, and give personal examples from your life as well. Another option is asking your mentee to take the lead on the conversation and ask you questions about how things are going in your life
- How is everything going? How is your family?
- What things at home or in your school or family have changed since we last spoke? What areas do you need support with? How can I help?
- What is something that you are doing outside of work and home that you are enjoying?
Here are some questions related to academics that you might ask:
- How are your courses going? What areas are you doing well in? In what areas do you need support?
- How are you connecting with other people in your classes?
- Does your college still feel like a good fit?
- What are some things that you are learning? How are you growing from this experience?
Here are some ways to begin the conversation around S.M.A.R.T goals:
- Model a S.M.A.R.T. goal for your mentee based upon something you want to accomplish professionally or personally over the next 3 months.
- Help your mentee set their S.M.A.R.T. goals by providing them with additional context. Making goals for your professional and personal life is important to ensure that you are doing things you want and progressing in life. Are there any goals you want to set for yourself related to:
- Health & Wellness
- Financial Security
- Leisure or Fun
- Artistic & Creative Endeavors
- Public Service/ Giving Back
- Attitude/ Mindset
- SMART GOALS sheet: https://imentor.box.com/s/t072vibraw319w53q9uyo4n1m1inei31