Code of Conduct for Professional Engagement with Protégés

Smeal Mentoring Program Code of Conduct for Professional Engagement with Protégés

As a mentor, you play an important part in our students’ professional and personal development journey. Below, we have provided a few best practices to help assist in being a positive role model for your Protégé.  

  • Understand Smeal’s commitment to creating a positive, inclusive, and ethical learning environment where every student feels valued and accepted.  
  • Always schedule an a mutually agreeable appointment time to meet with your Protégé; handle changes in your schedule as you would meetings and appointments at work.  
  • If you have the opportunity to meet in-person, ask your Protégé to schedule a meeting room on campus or meet in a public place like a coffee shop. Do not meet with your Protégé at a bar or at their residence hall/apartment. Video technology is a very effective way to still have a face-to-face meeting, if you cannot physically meet in person.  
  • Offering car rides is unnecessary given the walkable nature of campus and the surrounding community. 
  • Focus on professional activities and skill-building discussions in your conversations. For example, focus on career stories related to your professional development. Avoid stories and conversations related to social activities.   
  • Dress professionally or in business casual attire when meeting in person or during video chat sessions.  
  • Greet your Protégé professionally with a handshake, never a hug.  
  • Ask your Mentor their preferred name and pronouns.   
  • All discussions related to issues and challenges you have faced at work should focus on lessons learned and positive messages of advice. Do not speak with a negative tone about your work experiences or co-workers.  
  • During the initial meetings with your Protégé, clearly define your role, outline the areas you both would like to work on together (major selection, interview preparation, careers, professional development).  
  • It may also be helpful to clarify what your Mentor role does not include, particularly if your Protégé approaches these topics with you. This includes personal issues, such as dating, family issues, or money issues. If your Protégé approaches you about one of these topics that you are not comfortably answering, please encourage them to reach out to the Smeal Alumni Relations Office, who will help them identify the appropriate resource on-campus.   
  • Handle social media engagement with your Protégé as you would handle connections with other professional associates. Be respectful of your Protégés preferences for communicating via social media.  
  • In general, consider this assignment an extension of your workplace.