Suggested questions to ask your mentor at your first meeting

  • Why did you choose to attend Columbia College?

  • Where did you grow up? If outside of NYC, what was it like transitioning to NYC?

  • Can you tell me about the most formative aspects of your College student experience?

  • Can you tell me about your career journey since the College and about your work today?

  • What are some things I should be doing now to help me make important decisions like choosing a major or trying out a particular industry/career?

Talk About Your Personal Lives and Interests

  • Who do you talk to when you need advice?

  • How do you deal with criticism?

  • How do you stay motivated?

  • What books or authors have influenced you?

  • What newspapers, magazines and websites do you read most often?

  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

  • What are some challenges you’ve faced and how did you grow from them?

Suggested career-related questions to ask your mentor

  • How did you choose your industry?

  • Was it your first choice?

  • What type of skills do I need be successful in that industry?

  • What type of person would excel in that industry?

  • Can you talk about advancement in your field?

  • What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of your job?

  • What are some challenges in your industry?

  • What is the work environment like at your company? How would you describe the culture? How did your College degree prepare you for this role?

  • What are some of the roles and responsibilities of recent graduates at your company?

  • How is your company/industry evolving? Has it changed a lot in the last few years?

  • What trends do you see in your field?

  • What are some internship/job search strategies you would recommend?

Talk About the Structure of Your Mentorship

  • What is the best way to get in touch?

  • How often do you expect to meet, talk or email? Can we consider establishing a monthly communication schedule?

  • Can we set up a plan or schedule for when each of us should initiate contact?

  • What should the focus of our second meeting be?

  • Can we discuss tangible goals for our relationship and what we each hope to gain?