Professional Relationship

Characterized as the least structured mentoring relationship with a duration determined by mentor and mentee.


  • Help professionals enrich their careers and find opportunities to focus within their chosen specialty, or to break out into new areas.
  • Help mid- and upper-level professionals to change direction; diversify their skills and duties; or develop management, specialty, or administrative skills.
  • Provide a means for upper-level management to pass on the benefits of their experience to newly-emerging managers.

Criteria for Mentors

  • Mentors can be drawn from any level.
  • Mentors should be skilled in their job responsibilities, and/or active professionally, and/or be considered an expert in their field.
  • Mentors can be either in the same reporting line or in a different division, but should not be the direct supervisor of the mentee.


  • Formulate goals with the mentee; help the mentee develop his/her career in desired ways.
  • Mentors may plan formal activities, depending on the goals of the mentee.


  • Establish contact with the chosen mentor and formulate goals.
  • Participate in activities appropriate to the growth of both mentee and mentor.
  • Provide feedback to the mentor and the Mentoring Coordinator.

Activities are only limited by that which is appropriate in a work or professional relationship. They may include:

  • regular meetings;
  • assistance in furthering involvement in professional organizations, particularly at the national level;
  • assistance with publication; and
  • referral to prospective mentors outside the Library or University, who may have more appropriate expertise.