What makes a good mentor?

Updated: Feb 16

During February and March we will be publishing a series of blogs as part of our University of Nottingham Intern Takeover #UoNinterntakeover

We have welcomed four interns from the University to support the research and development towards an enhanced intervention delivery model ready for our re-entry into prisons after the pandemic.

Aleksandra Lasak, BA Criminology student,

kicks us off with her first blog post, giving her insight on what makes a good mentor.

Mentoring can be delivered in many ways: it can be structured and formal, but it can also

happen among groups of peers and manifest itself in a more spontaneous and informal way.

For instance, its traditional form, which is also the most common type of mentoring, relies on a

power dynamic which is centred around teaching and directing the mentee. On the other hand,

other types of mentoring might be mutually directed and have different objectives.

An example of an alternative type of mentoring is reverse mentoring, which utilises a more

dynamic and flexible approach. It relies on the assumption that both the mentor and the mentee

co-create knowledge and that both parties can learn from each other. I believe this strategy is

essential to sports-based mentor programmes as it can help develop a mentoring strategy which can evolve and adapt itself to different contexts and people.

However, mentoring can also be a complex and more challenging process than what it might

appear at first. A mentor is neither a teacher nor exactly a friend to the mentee. It is someone

who guides them and shares valuable knowledge and experiences with them whilst also being a reliable adult who can offer advice on important matters. They are someone they can look up to