By: Andrea Mellendorf
As public relations students, we constantly hear about finding a good mentor and using them as a resource throughout our time as college students, and throughout our careers. Finding a good mentor is important, and often difficult. What’s not often talked about is the importance of being a good mentee, which is an imperative part of having a fulfilling mentor-mentee relationship.
Being a good mentee doesn’t necessarily mean sending extravagant gifts to your mentor, or anything lavish like that. However, being a good mentee does mean being mindful of how often you are communicating with your mentor, and making sure you are appropriately expressing your gratitude to your mentor. After all, this busy professional is taking time out of their busy schedule to help you as an up and coming practitioner.
Keeping in touch with your mentor is one of the most simple and most important elements about being a good mentee. Even if it’s just a short email thanking them for help they provided recently, with a short recap of what that help was able to do for you as a student, it’s important for you as a mentee to let your mentor know that their effort is indeed helping you as a student. These short thank you emails don’t take much time out of their day to read, don’t require a lengthy response on their part, and gives them the satisfaction of knowing that they are doing sometime positive in the life of a young person.
Don’t forget that it’s also okay to send your mentor questions or ask them to look over your resume or cover letter – just don’t do it too often! No one wants to read three of your cover letters every week, even your mentor, so make sure that you are not overwhelming your mentor with your questions or concerns, but know that it’s okay to reach out to them! They are there to help, and can provide wonderful insights that could help you land that internship.
Having a good mentor is an imperative part of being a public relations student, and being a good mentee is the key to having a great mentor-mentee relationship. As your move through your public relations education, make sure that you are being the mentee that your mentor deserves!
Andrea Mellendorf is a junior public relations and communication double major, and is serving as the Chapter President of EMU PRSSA. Andrea has previously served as the VP of Special Events and Programs and the Chief Financial Officer for the Eleanor Wright chapter of PRSSA. On campus Andrea also serves as a Resident Advisor and as the Social Media Operator for The Honors College where she manages the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.