By: Emily Palmeri, DePaul University Honors Marketing Major ’18, Alumni Sharing Knowledge Marketing Intern

As we celebrate National Mentorship Month, we can’t help but reflect upon what it really means to #MentorIRL. Last year, we heard numerous success stories from both mentors and mentees about the connections and opportunities the ASK program has given them. But, as in any relationship, there were a few challenging moments.

Here are some tips on turning four common challenges into teachable moments:

  1. The No-Show

Instead of assuming the worst, remind your no-show that last minute cancellations or “ghosting” is unprofessional. Use this opportunity to coach your mentee on the importance of being punctual. We suggest providing at least 24-hours notice of a conflict or schedule change.

  1. The No Follow-Up

Oftentimes, mentors will have a successful practice interview with a student and then never hear how the real interview went. Instead of waiting around, reach out to them and ask how it went! This not only demonstrates your dedication to their career development but can also strike up another meeting for practice or continued mentorship.

  1. The Unprepared

At your meeting with a student, you notice they haven’t done their research prior to the session. Instead of ignoring it, question why they aren’t prepared. While they may be caught off guard, listen to their reasoning. It may be because they’re uninterested or ran out of time. Regardless, this in an opportunity to teach mentees about prioritizing. Researching before any interview will turn “The Unprepared” into “The Equipped.”

  1. The Grade Grub

For some courses at DePaul, informational or practice interviews with ASK mentors are a part of the curriculum. Some students are eager to use the program while others procrastinate the assignment. For those solely using the ASK Network for a grade, share how procrastination is inconsiderate not only of your time but theirs as well. Show them how they can complete their assignment while receiving career guidance and insight at the same time.

Your contribution to the ASK Program goes beyond the title of “mentor.” You are constantly teaching, coaching and advising students, graduates and alumni about the expectations and demands of the workplace. By setting high expectations for mentees, these four issues can be avoided and your connections will be more meaningful.