5 Benefits of Mentorship for Black Students

Mentorship is a crucial function of the career development process, and it is known to be significantly impactful to everyone involved. Mentoring is the process of an experienced person facilitating the growth and development of a lesser experienced person. Research suggests that for at-risk college students, such as BIPOC and first-generation students, “mentoring can be particularly vital to their persistence to degree” (Booker and Brevard, 2017). In addition, black students can get a substantial return on investment from engaging in mentoring, and we’ll highlight five key benefits of mentorship.

Gain Expertise

As the mentee, you will have access to the mentor’s wealth of knowledge, years of experience, and outside perspectives. In addition, your mentor is a person that you can ask questions about the profession, the skills that they use in their job, and how you can get started.

Get Feedback

Your mentor can also be one of the people who will review your goals and help you process your progress to identify growth areas. Your mentor can provide you with insight because they’ll understand your development.

Professional growth

The mentor-mentee relationship offers a dynamic opportunity for the mentor and mentee to improve professionally. The mentee can learn from the mentor’s professional journey and gain insight into critical skills used along the journey.

Personal Growth

Career and professional development coincide with identity expression. Who we are and how we identify culturally, spiritually, and personally affect our career development. Mentors who share in the same lived experience as the mentee offer perspectives that can help the mentee navigate challenges along the way.


Networking is one of the most critical and essential aspects of career development. Establishing a productive and effective network is a best practice for any job seeker. The mentor can be the key to your next introduction, leading to many more. Mentors can vouch for your character, ability, and career readiness. It’s always great knowing that you have others advocating for you.

Next steps

There are many different ways that you can participate in mentorship here at UConn. Below is a shortlist of opportunities to get started.

If you would like some help with getting started with mentorship schedule a career coaching appointment on Handshake to go over this with someone from our office.

Photo by Emilio Garcia on Unsplash


Why Mentoring Matters: African-American Students and the Transition to College
By Wiley Dawson
Wiley Dawson Assistant Director, Hartford Campus (He, Him, His)