Mentor Tips from the Youth Leadership Team

Our youth trainers

Our Youth Leadership Team (Jen, Che’Graftanay, Kiarra and Thurston) worked together to write this list of recommendations for creating safe environments and strong relationships for interns.

Safe Space Tips:

  • Give the intern a tour of the workspace.
  • Introduce intern to employees in the office space.
  • Make sure your intern can properly use office equipment.
  • Make sure your intern has a way of contacting you (ex: email, phone number, etc).
  • Make sure the intern knows where he or she can always find you or your alternate mentor.
  • When there’s a stressful situation, address the situation and let your intern know what’s going on. Ask how he/she feels about it and ask what you can do to help.

Mental/ Emotional Safety Tips:

  • Always encourage the intern to ask questions.
  • Listen to and respect the intern’s ideas.
  • Understand that the internship is a learning process in which the intern will make mistakes.
  • Give positive feedback to interns even for small tasks, and do something nice (ex: A ‘thank you’ card, snacks, etc).

Get to know you/Relationship Building Tips:

  • Allow yourself to be open for communication with the intern.
  • Try to establish a personal relationship with your intern (Ex: ask your intern what them what their interests are, what their dreams and goals are and how you as the mentor can assist them to reaching those dreams and goals).
  • Understand that school comes first for your intern.
  • Show your intern who you are outside of work (ex: Tell a joke, share personal experiences, etc.)
  • Show your intern how you would handle stressful situations.
  • Be friendly and approachable (ex: greet your intern when he/she comes to work).
  • Give the intern advice or suggestions regarding work, school, or personal situations.

Checking In Tips:

  • During and after a project, try to check in on your interns to see their progress and if they have any questions.
  • Emphasize to your intern that asking questions is okay.
  • Try to find time for your intern (ex: schedule meetings with intern).
  • Check in with your intern between phone calls.
  • Establish a trusting relationship with your intern (ex: give them more advanced tasks).