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Brief to mentors


Thank you for participating in the UCT EBE Alumni Distance Mentoring Programme for engineering and built environment students. We hope that you will have an enjoyable and rewarding mentoring relationship, as you help give back to the next generation of engineers.


Since 2007, 1st year students in the UCT Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment have been assigned a senior engineering student who mentors them during their first year of study. However, no programme has been in place to provide senior students with mentors as they progress further into their degree.

The UCT EBE Alumni mentoring programme aims to:

  • provide senior students with a mentor in a similar industry of their interest in order to assist students with the transition from an academic environment to the world of work;
  • offer an opportunity for the professional development of students, networking opportunities and an exchange of ideas between experienced professionals and the next generation of leaders;
  • allow for the development of good communication, responsibility and commitment  


Goals and expectations: The mentor is encouraged to have a conversation with the student about their goals and expectations for the relationship. Mentors are not expected to offer vacation employment, internships or any form of employment.

Provide feedback: Mentors are encouraged to provoke deeper thought and reflection and provide feedback that is honest and candid, delivered in a thoughtful and constructive way. Modelling behaviour for mentees through open discussion is encouraged.

Contact: Mentors and mentees should aim to have at least two contact times per month. The programme is a distance mentoring one, so most conversations will be via email. However, conversations can occur over the phone, via Skype, or if possible, in person.

Commitment: If you no longer wish to mentor please contact the Mentoring Co-ordinator so that another mentor can be assigned to the student. 

Several of our students may struggle with engaging in a relationship with you. This is partly the reason for implementing this very programme and providing them with an industry-based mentor. Your role modelling in the mentoring relationship would go a long way to assisting them with the process of networking and forming professional relationships.  Some tips for you would include

  • Asking them open-ended questions that provoke deeper thought and reflection.
  • Asking them what they would like to accomplish
  • What have they learnt
  • What barriers or challenges do they anticipate

Evaluation: At the end of the year, both mentors and mentees will be requested to complete a brief online evaluation form which will assist in the future planning of the programme.

Click here to complete the application form.

Please feel free to contact Nazeema Ahmed,  the Mentoring Coordinator if there is a concern about the student or the mentoring relationship.