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How can I make contact with a potential mentor, or end/pause a mentor relationship?

Contacting a mentor may seem scary at first. It’s important to know that generally, professionals are interested in offering advice and mentorship to students, all you have to do is ask!

The Magner Career Center adheres to the guidelines established in the Building Professional Relationships presentation. Students must go over the presentation and complete the form at the end to participate in the Magner Career Center’s mentoring initiatives.

LinkedIn Outreach

If you don’t have the email of a potential mentor, the best way to reach out to them is by using LinkedIn. To reach out go to their profile, click “connect” and “add a note.” Below we provide some sample text you may use:

Hi Michael,

I found your profile while searching for Brooklyn College alumni to chat with. Your career path strongly resonates with me and I was wondering if you would be willing to answer some of my questions regarding your company and your career path.

Thank you for considering!

To a potential mentor you already know (this can also be used via email if you have their email):

Dear Sarah,

I have very much enjoyed and learned from the conversations we have had in the past, and I would like to ask a favor based on my respect for the way you have developed your own career. I am at the point in my college experience where I feel I need some mentoring to make informed career decisions about a variety of career paths I’m considering (finance, business management and accounting). I was hoping that we could meet for coffee to discuss my current needs and see if this is something you are interested in and available for.

In this mentoring relationship, I am proposing to meet with you for about 60 minutes once a month to seek your counsel. I would put together a meeting agenda for each get-together, make a list of any follow-up items that come out of our discussions, complete the action items during the next month, and report back on my progress.

I’m aware that your schedule is busy, so if it isn’t possible to take on this type of commitment, I certainly understand. In that case, thank you for considering this request, and I will look forward to our future conversations!

Best Regards

Email Outreach

When sending an email, be sure to include a subject line:
For example: Brooklyn College Student Seeking Career Conversation

Sample #1

Dear Justin,

My name is Eric Smith and I’m a student at Brooklyn College majoring in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing. I have been researching alumni on LinkedIn and I am interested in learning more about your career journey, specifically your experiences at IPG Media Lab. I have several questions that I’m hoping will help me make more informed decisions about my career path. Would you be available to speak for 20-30 minutes on the phone, via Zoom or in person? I am typically available <add your availability>.

Please let me know if you’re available and what date/time works best with your schedule. Thank you for your time and I look forward to speaking soon.

Best regards,


Sample #2

Dear Susan,

My name is Sally Pierce and I currently work as a Student Assistant at Brooklyn College in the Development department. I am learning so much, thoroughly enjoy the work and am interested in possibly pursuing a career in the field. I have great respect for the work you have done, particularly in grassroots fundraising.

I would like to hear your career story and ask a few questions about your career path. I’m hoping that this will help me make more informed career decisions going forward. Could I ask for 30 minutes of your time over coffee? I understand that you may be very busy and if 30 minutes is not possible perhaps a 15 minute phone or Zoom conversation is more manageable.

Please let me know a date and time that works best with your schedule I am typically available <include your typical availability>. Thank you for your time and I look forward to speaking soon,

Best Regards,


Speaking via Phone

After exchanging communication with your mentor you will determine how to meet. This can be via video-chat, in-person or over the phone. Should you be asked to contact them via phone, follow this phone script.

May I please speak with Ms. Burns? 

Hello Ms. Burns, this is John Smith in regards to the Brooklyn College Alumni Mentor Program.  Thank you for taking this time to speak with me over the phone.  Per my email I would like to ask you the questions I sent ahead of time. And any additional advice that you would be willing to share would be greatly appreciated. 

 (After information has been exchanged….)

Thank you again for the information you have provided me.  Could I contact you in the future if I have additional questions?  If so, would you prefer I call or e-mail you? 

Thank you. Have a great day.

Mentor Meeting Thank-You Note

Sample #1

Dear Terry,

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me yesterday about your role as a Dietician at Maimonides Hospital. I can appreciate that you are a busy person with a full schedule, both personal and professional, and the fact that you carved out time in your day to share your career experiences with me means a lot.

As I shared with you, I am in the stage of my college experience where I am exploring a couple different career paths. Every conversation I have with a Dietician and Physical Therapist gives me that much more insight and knowledge to make an informed decision about my future. The information you shared with me regarding your schedule, the necessary education and exams, and your day to day challenges was priceless.

If there is ever anything I can do to help you with your work, I would be happy to reciprocate the favor. I will follow up with you in a few months to keep you posted on my continued research and knowledge gained. Again, thank you so very much and I’ll be in touch.

Best Regards,

What are the different scenarios/communication I can use around ending or pausing a mentoring relationship?

Potential Scenarios:

You and your mentor met once or twice and it went great but for whatever reason you haven’t reached out to them in awhile and have basically disappeared off their radar.

Dear (Mentor Name),

I would like to apologize for our loss of contact. I have been incredibly busy with school and personal matters and have been meaning to reach out. I would love to continue our mentorship journey if you are willing. Our previous meetings were so helpful for me and I truly appreciate your career insights.

I’m looking forward to hearing back from you,

(Your Name)

You had a great connection but dropped the ball. However, you feel like this is not the right time and would like to pause (or potentially end) your mentorship for the time being:

Dear (Mentor Name),

I would like to apologize for the delay regarding this mentorship opportunity. I have realized that it might not be a good time for me to continue with this journey as I am currently busy with school and/or personal matters and don’t have the time to continue. I would like to pause our mentorship for the time being but I am hoping to continue it in the future if your circumstances allow.

Thank you for your time and cooperation!

All best,

(Your Name)

You have been trying to reach your mentor for quite some time now (and have notified the career center) but haven’t received a reply and would like to end the mentorship:

Dear (Mentor Name),

Thank you for initially agreeing to be my mentor. However, after {insert number} attempts to reach you, I realize that it might not be the right time for you to take me on as a mentee. Thus, I think it would be best to end our mentorship. Take care and best of luck with your career path.

Thank you for your time,

All best,

(Your Name)

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