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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does one-on-one mentoring mean?

    A mentor is a more experienced person who has volunteered to build a trusting relationship with a less experienced person for the purpose of providing guidance and support toward collaboratively established goals.

    Through the Professional Development Institute, mentoring is an interactive process between a mentor and a student which is centrally focused on the career and professional development of students. Through discovery and strategic action, effective one-on-one mentoring provides both the student and the mentor with overall personal growth and opportunities for career and professional development.

  • Who can request a mentor?

    Any actively enrolled UB student may request a mentor.

  • Why should I request a mentor

    Students should request a mentor to discover ways to:

    • interact with an objective source of encouragement, support and challenge
    • boost self-confidence and self-awareness
    • identify meaningful, achievable goals
    • develop a plan to achieve your academic and career development goals
    • balance work, school and life
    • think from a different perspective
    • build a social and career network.
  • When can I request a PDI mentor?

    We have open application periods just before and at the start of fall and spring semesters.

  • How do I become a PDI mentor?

    To become a PDI mentor, you must:

    • hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
    • obtain, complete and submit a mentor application
    • contact Lisa Punter in the Career and Professional Development Center
    • if selected, attend 2-hour Mentor Orientation.
  • How are mentors assigned to a student?

    The match will be based on the best fit between:

    • the student's personal development
    • the mentor’s educational background and professional expertise
    • personality strengths
    • time availability (schedules).
  • What's the time commitment?

    A minimum of one hour of contact time per mentee per month during the semester is required for fostering a successful, productive partnership. More time may be necessary depending on a student's particular goals. Mentoring relationships are generally expected to last at least six months or until a student graduates.

  • How do mentors and students communicate?

    Mentors and students may vary communication modes for mentoring sessions. A combination of face-to-face, phone, and email communication can produce meaningful results.

Still have questions? Contact Lisa Punter in the Career and Professional Development Center at