Mentoring Tips for Students

On this page:

Being a Good Student Mentee

  • Introduce Yourself.
    Dear Dean’s Alumni Ambassador Mentor, (personalize this),

    Hello! My name is (add your name here) and I am a P(1) at UB’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. I wanted to reach out to you because I have been paired as your mentee as part of the Dean's Alumni Ambassador Mentor program. 

    I want to share a little bit about myself. I am from (insert location) and I completed 2 years of undergraduate studies through UB's Early Assurance Program (personalize this) before entering pharmacy school. I currently work at (personalize this) as a pharmacy technician, but in the future I hope to complete a residency and possibly working in a hospital. 

    I understand your busy schedule but it would be greatly appreciated if you could take some time to guide me in pursuing my current interests: community, research (bench or clinical), clinical pharmacy, and academia (personalize this). 

    I look forward to hearing from you and learning more about your interests. I am available to connect by phone, email or in-person, whichever is more convenient for you. 

    Thank you for your time.
    Sincerely,
    Your name

    Your name
    PharmD Candidate, Class of ____
    University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
    Add any student organizations

  • Be professional. When you are reaching out to a potential mentor, make sure you use formal communication styles. Even if you are writing the email from your phone, do not use text abbreviations.
  • Get together. Develop a relationship with simple activities like walks across campus, informal conversations over coffee, attending a lecture together – this will help to develop rapport.
  • Be punctual. If meeting in person, present yourself on time and prepared with research and questions. Be respectful of the mentor’s time.
  • Be courteous. If you are meeting your mentor for a meal or snack, it is expected that you will pay for your share.
  • Build your network. You may also ask your mentor if they know someone else you might speak with about the career field in order to build your network.
  • Take notes. Write down some basic notes about your meeting such as the name and title of the mentor, date of the meeting, and what was discussed.
  • Follow up. Send your mentor a thank you note. Express your appreciation for the assistance you received and mention one or two specifically helpful points. Keep in touch with your mentor! When you make a decision about your career choice, or you find a position, share your news.

For additional help, consider attending workshops on using LinkedIn and networking. See Life and Learning Workshops.

Mentoring Topics

  • Career choices
  • Job searching
  • Current job opportunities
  • Continuing education
  • CVs and cover letters
  • Relocating to certain area
  • Maintaining your own practice
  • Managing a budget
  • Balancing work and family
  • Other advice and tips including “life lessons”

Example Questions to Discuss

  • How did you get to where you are today – what was your career path?
  • What do you like most about working in this field and what do you find most challenging?
  • What are your responsibilities and what skills do you use in your profession?
  • Tell me about your daily routine on the job.
  • What are some problems you face and decisions you make?
  • How do most people get started in this field?
  • What do you think is the ideal educational path to qualify for a position in this profession?
  • Do you belong to any professional organizations? Do they have student chapters?
  • Do you think this field is growing, with opportunities for employment?
  • Can you recommend other people who might be valuable sources of information?

Ideas for Connecting

  • Meet for food or beverages
  • Shadow or tour your mentor's place of employment
  • Attend UB or UB SPPS networking events
  • Meet at the Pharmacy Building
  • Connect via social media

Note: Mentors do NOT tutor or provide academic advisement. If you need academic support or crisis counseling, contact Karl Fiebelkorn, Senior Associate Dean.