#1. Getting to Know Your Mentor


Feb 2022


When getting to know a stranger, a mutual friend, or even a classmate, having that first conversation can be really awkward. Getting to know someone new, in this case a mentor, can be just as nerve-wracking and difficult. This is why I created this list of tips and ideas to make it less awkward. But before sharing, it is important to note that the main purpose of having a mentor is to utilize them for academic, professional, and personal support in general. 

Having a mentor can help improve your skills and achievements immensely over time. However, often, we see how many scholars don’t realize the advantage of being equipped with such a supportive figure in their life until things, or shall I say life, gets tricky. In all honesty, that was my case. It was only when I was mentally drained, suffering familial hardships and losses, experiencing burnout, and nearly failing in more than half of my classes, that I realized the privilege of having a mentor by my side. 

My mentor, Anna, was the main reason I got back on track academically, professionally, and most importantly mentally. Because she knew me well and understood the ways to support me. The mentee-mentor relationship we developed over these past two years is what helped her support me and helped me continue flourishing inside and outside of college. Below, I’ve organized tips and ideas of things to do with your mentors to build a strong mentee-mentor relationship!

Tips & Ideas


  1. Two Truths and One Lie
  2. Find and Share Common Interests → Relatability makes conversing easier!
  3. Ask Each Other Questions! → The more you ask questions, the more interest the mentee or mentor will have to contribute to the conversation. This helps in bonding that relationship more and being more comfortable with the idea of sharing with one another.


  1. Phone calls, zoom, in person → All ways to communicate with mentors when both are available and free to do so. Updating each other on life, school, work can be so useful in building mentee-mentor relationships.
  2. My favorite tip is having entirely natural/normal conversations. Yes, it is easier said than done. But just try not to force it. In fact, never force it! Communicate as if you’re communicating with a long term friend.
  3. Consistency! Always communicate. Every phone call, in person chat, or zoom call I’ve done with my mentor, I was granted new opportunities, academic help, ideas, etc. You will gain something at the end of every conversation, even when you least expect it.

Fun Activities

  1. Virtual Board Games! → Monopoly, Scrabble, CodeNames, Battleship, Clue, all online games you and your mentor can play to break the ice and have fun!
  2. Grab a morning cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or lunch if you’re an afternoon kind of person, and hang around campus! This is a chill, easy and fun way to bond. Trust me.
  3. Schedule a time to go hiking, or take walks → Tilden Park, Huckleberry Nature Path, Springhill Loop, Stream Trail to French Trail. Healthy, Fun and Active!

Batul Aledlah

BCS Intern, 2018 High Hopes Scholar

Batul is a passionate and hardworking BCS transfer student studying Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. She will be graduating this Spring, officially making her a first-generation college graduate. Batul has also obtained education in Political Science and Psychology, which are both fields she wishes to pursue in the near future after earning her Bachelor’s degree. In hopes of becoming an advisor or counselor, Batul aims to commit time and dedication to internships and volunteer work centered around peer mentorship for scholars like herself. 

12 Responses to “#1. Getting to Know Your Mentor”

  1. Momo

    Nice blog Batul! Thank you for sharing the wonderful advice for mentee’s and mentors to connect better! Thanks to all the Mentors! And a big shoutout to all the Berkeley Community Scholars!

  2. Sharouk

    Batul is one of the coolest people I know, she’s super down to earth and loves to help and support her community. She’s reliable and a great person to talk to.

  3. Amel

    So inspiring! I have multiple mentors ! You mentioned something worth noting and that is to not force it! That it should be a naturally formed relationship. Also to have that confidence if you feel comfortable and once you established a relationship to ask an individual to be your mentor!

  4. Cher

    Mentors can definitely lead you down the right path. I remember feeling so prepared and confident throughout my college experience knowing I have my mentor guiding me along the way. Batul seems like she will be a very supportive and reliable asset to whoever she mentors! Amazing work and congratulations!

  5. Lamya

    Great post! Getting to know people is hard, so thanks for the tips and ideas. I’ll have to try them sometime. Keep up the great work, can’t wait for the next post!

  6. Ghadir

    Thanks for sharing this, Batul. Taking those first steps to find a mentor and utilize your time with them effectively is not always clear or straightforward. Your tips list is spot on and I can see myself using it in various settings (i.e school, work, life). I appreciate you putting this together and excited for future posts!

  7. Amani

    I actually have a mentor through the BCS program and I struggle a lot with opening up and trying to know how to build my relationship. Reading this post gave me lots of ideas and helped me feel more comfortable with asking my mentor with help, or even just having fun conversation! I loved reading you tips and ideas!

  8. Amira

    These tips are such a help to students, loved them so much! Thanks so much for this

  9. Hayat

    As a mentor myself, I find this extremely helpful! Batul covered many ways someone can strengthen a bond with their mentee. I’ll definitely recommend this blog to any mentors or mentees that need extra support in stepping out of their comfort zone.

  10. Muna

    This is so useful! I’ll definitely be using these tips as I get ready to move into the next step of my academic career, thanks for sharing Batul!

  11. Eman

    This is such an amazing and effective blog post! These icebreakers and fun activities such as virtual board games are amazing aways for us to connect and bond with our mentors via laughter and joy. Thank you so much for sharing these ideas!!

  12. Noore

    A very beneficial post, Batul! The tips listed are easily adaptable and cater to a variety of students. Thanks for highlighting the importance of communication in a strong mentee-mentor relationship.

Leave a comment