Your Academic Mentor is a key point of contact in your academic department. Their role is to keep an overview of your academic progress and overall wellbeing during your time at the School.
They can provide guidance and coaching on the wide range of academic and pastoral topics that might come up during your time at LSE. They can share their experience, answer questions and help you play a part in LSE’s academic community.
You should attend meetings with them, be willing to enter into discussions about your courses and the wider world, possibly in a one to one setting, or maybe in a group with other mentees.
Bear in mind that they won’t always have the answer to all your questions but they will listen to you. When they don’t know themselves, they will be able to direct you to the most appropriate team in the School.
Academic mentoring: a message from an academic mentor
Video message from Paulette Annon
You will get the most from your Academic Mentor if you are able to build a good relationship with them. This means both Mentors and Mentees should take their responsibilities seriously.
- Provide students with academic guidance and feedback on students’ progress and performance, and discuss any academic challenges they may experience.
- Provide pastoral guidance on non-academic issues and refer students, as necessary, to the appropriate support services within the School.
- Implement the provisions outlined in Inclusion Plans for students with long-term medical conditions, specific learning differences and/or disabilities in liaison with the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service.
- Students will be invited to meet their Academic Mentor at least twice during each of the Michaelmas and Lent terms. These meetings may take the form of 1-2-1 sessions or small group gatherings, so that mentees can meet one another and discuss issues of mutual interest.
- Comment on and provide general assessment of students’ progression on their termly class reports via LSE for You.
- Inform the department tutor and school of any students whose attendance and progress is not satisfactory.
- Communicate clearly and openly throughout your time as a mentee. Don’t forget that advice and mentoring can be valuable even when you feel things are already going really well. Try to schedule and attend meetings and keep in touch by email.
- Raise issues that could impact on your studies with your Mentor or another staff member sooner rather than later. Once the School knows something is going on, we can provide support and guidance. The outcome is more likely to be positive if you let us know in good time rather than once a problem has already grown, or on the day before a deadline.
- Take some time before each meeting to think about areas you'd most like to speak about.
- It's unlikely, but if things are not working for you and your Academic Mentor, follow your department's procedures to be assigned to a different Academic Mentor. Your Departmental Manager or Programme Administrator should be able to help you with this.
Your meeting might take a lot of different formats- you might have meetings in a group with other students, one-to-one, in an office or café or somewhere else. Your Mentor might ask you questions from a pre-prepared set or have a less structured approach. They might take notes to help them record details so they can come back to them with you later or they may not. You could also decide to keep notes if you want to.
Meetings should give you space to raise any questions or concerns and ask your Mentor for advice, as well as let them know how things are going or if there are areas you'd like to work on.
If you’re worried about what you might say, or feel you’d like to give your Mentor a bit of an idea about how you’re doing before you meet, you could try filling out and sending them information on the document below to give them an idea of how you’re doing: Academic mentee introduction and update.
*Please note: You are under no obligation to answer these questions, especially those revolving around disclosing disabilities, long term illness, or responsibilities outside of LSE.
If you're unsure how to structure an email to your Mentor, take a look at some Email templates.
If there's anything in particular you’re concerned about and would like to discuss in your meeting, you can let your Mentor know by email beforehand.
You could also prepare a list of your own questions before you attend to make sure you're able to cover everything you want to talk about.