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Mentor intro call scenarios

Program coordinators can prepare for introductory calls to mentors by taking a look at these scenarios and discussing any questions with their managers. Managers can also use these scenarios for training PCs and starting a rich conversation around how to provide support to mentors. If you are looking for talking points to use in your calls, see the New Match Intro Call Talking Points and Returning Match Intro Call Talking Points.

Scenario #1

New Mentor: Really High Expectations

A mentor is brand new to the program. He is a Vice President at one of our corporate partners and is very excited to get matched.  He expects that with his experience and connections, there’s no way his mentee won’t be getting a full ride to the college of his/her choice. How do you manage expectations without minimizing excitement? 

Scenario #2

Returning Mentor: Plays Expert

You have a mentor who has been a mentor in our program for the last six years. She is going into the second year of a three year match. When you get her on the phone and begin to review the program requirements, she cuts you off and says she knows it all. Later, she mentions how long she’s been a mentor and asks if you’re new to the program. How do you respond when she cuts you off? How do you redirect the conversation? How do you respond to the tenure question?

Scenario #3

Returning Mentor: Disengaged, rushes off the phone, has been tough to get in touch 

You call a mentor who you’ve had some difficulty reaching. When you ask if the mentor has time to speak, they huff and say “if you keep it quick.” Throughout the conversation you hear the mentor typing in the background and s/he is responding with “uh huhs”. As the call continues the mentor tries to rush you off the phone before you’ve covered all of the material. How do you respond? How can you follow up?

Scenario #4

Very tough to reach mentor, setting expectations and good tone in intro call

You reach out to a mentor who you’ve already left three messages for. This mentor canceled on a scheduled call, and hasn’t responded to your emails asking to reschedule. When you get her on the phone, how do you address her behavior and outline your expectations while setting a good tone for the year?

Scenario #5

Returning Mentor, new PC: tough last year

You call a mentor who was matched last year with a mentee. This mentee was disengaged and the pair experienced significant challenges meeting the participation requirements. The mentor likes the mentee, but is frustrated that they haven’t been able to meet and that their former PC is no longer working with them. How do you address their concerns, suggest action, and gain their confidence as the new PC?

Scenario #6

Returning Mentor: low rated mentor, previous PC gave strong instruction during spring call, PC needs to reinforce during intro call

You are reviewing a returning mentor’s notes before a call, and see that the previous PC left very strong instructions about next steps for the mentor. The mentor received a low rating because he only met his mentee once this past year and frequently missed emails. The former PC gave the mentor a warning and reviewed all of the program requirements last year. The mentor is committed to staying but needs to stay on task this year to stay matched. As the PC coming into this match, how do you reinforce the former PC’s instructions and actions while setting a good tone and encouraging growth in this pair?