Many seniors have to complete a project that involves finding a mentor in order to graduate. The idea behind a project is to explore possible careers and college majors. To find a senior project mentor, it is important to have a topic or career in mind. Here are some tips on finding a mentor once you have determined your project focus.

Ask your friends, family, teachers and neighbors about people who know something or work in the field you are researching. The first place to start with finding a senior project mentor is with people you know.

Make a list of people to contact after you have talked with people you know. Start contacting them by phone to set up in-person meetings.

Use judgment when interviewing people to be a mentor. Some people may not have a schedule that fits yours. You will need to adapt your schedule to someone else, so be sure it is convenient for both of you.

Pick someone with the right kind of experience. You want to find someone with specific tools and resources or your project to meet your objectives.

Investigate further. Sometimes, it is not possible to find a mentor through your immediate friends and family or teachers. Your specialized research project may require some further investigation. Some other resources are your own employer, people you know from church or other religious group, community and civic organizations, or sports teams or foundations. You may have to get even more creative and research professional groups, company stakeholders, colleges and universities, newspaper articles or a phone directory.

Tips

  • Be sure to do your homework and have a specific role for your mentor.

  • Ask good questions. Your prospective mentor may know someone else that can serve as a resource.

  • Your project may require more than one mentor. Be sure to have a plan for a second person if your project requires it.

  • It is a good idea to have a mentor in your local area. It gets difficult to meet with someone at a long distance, and they are usually required to see your final project.