Student Mentees

All Whiting School of Engineering undergraduates are matched with a faculty mentor to support their educational journey. This formal faculty mentoring program is intended to scaffold your journey while building a professional identity, grow a professional network, and work towards accomplishing your goals. Students are assigned a startup mentor in their first year to get started in the WSE mentorship program. Students will then collaborate with a primary major mentor in their second year after they have declared their major.

Getting Started

Summer (Remote)
Summer (Remote)

Attend your virtual orientation session

During the summer before arrival at Hopkins, undergraduate students will attend virtual orientation sessions, specifically for WSE, hosted by our Office of Engineering Advising, where they will meet with their Professional Academic Advisor (who provide students with timely, accurate, and practical degree guidance).

Summer (Remote)
Summer (Remote)

Complete your ePortfolio assignment

Undergraduate students must complete and submit their remote "About Me" ePortfolio assignment so that their faculty mentor and professional academic advisor can review it. Complete instructions are available in a Canvas site where you will be automatically enrolled.

August (In-Person)
August (In-Person)

Meet the Flock!

When you arrive at JHU for Orientation Week, you will attend the mentoring program Meet the Flock event. This is where you will meet your faculty startup mentor.

Expectations and Responsibilities

Meet regularly with your mentor

Mentees are held accountable for meeting with their assigned faculty mentor. Mentees should discuss their academic path with their faculty mentor so that the mentor is prepared to advise on relevant courses, the reasoning behind course sequences, how to assist if the mentee falls behind, and how to take advantage of new possibilities that arise.

Building relationships is crucial for obtaining sponsorship (applications for funding, including letters of recommendation and awards). If your mentor does not get to know you, it will be difficult for them to write a decent reference letter.

Practice good etiquette

Mentees are expected to engage respectfully and practice good etiquette. One of the objectives of our system is that the designated faculty mentor assists their assigned undergraduate student in their path to “learn” how to become a good mentee (etiquette, relationship building, sponsorship, etc.).

Some etiquette tips include:

  • Respond to emails promptly.
  • Address your faculty mentor with their preferred salutation (Dr., Professor, etc.). Refer to them by their first name only if they encourage you to do so.
  • Ask specific questions.
  • Learn what calendaring system they use and how to schedule appointments with them.

Mentees should learn and be mindful of who to reach out to. You will not only receive different types of support from your faculty mentor, academic advisors, life designers, and other program staff – you may also have mentorship relationships with multiple faculty members beyond your assigned mentor. There is no such thing as one “super-mentor” and you will receive different types of support from different people.

Respect diverse identities

Your identity might not be the same as your mentor’s. In this program, we challenge the concept of “one super mentor”. We urge mentees to seek out other (diverse) mentors throughout their time at Hopkins.

Create and maintain your ePortfolio

WSE undergraduate students matriculating in Fall 2023 or later are required to create an ePortfolio. ePortfolios allow students to capture their experiences and work on their life projects. ePortfolios can be shared both internally to portray their experiences to advisors and faculty mentors, as well as externally to partners and potential employers. Students are given access to the platform Digication to create their ePortfolios.

Read more about ePortfolios and Digication on our ePortfolio page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I keep my startup mentor after my first year?

If you have a good connection with your startup mentor, you can keep them as your mentor going forward with a few considerations:

  • they must be in the department of your primary major
  • department staff must approve it based on overall faculty load considerations

If your startup mentor is unable to serve as your official mentor based on these requirements, they can still be an unofficial mentor throughout your academic career. There is no such thing as one “super mentor” and you can find value in cultivating a constellation of mentorship relationships.

Talk to your mentor before the end of your first year if you would like to continue a mentoring relationship with them.

I have two majors. Who should my mentor be?

Your mentor must be in the department of your primary major. However, you are encouraged to cultivate mentoring relationships with faculty members from your secondary major and/or minor.

I don't get along with my mentor. Can I have a different one?

Mentorship is a human-driven process, and both students and faculty can and should use the space and time to learn from each other. If you feel that there is a personality mismatch, you are encouraged to explore this with your mentor to see where there is room for growth. If you have cultivated relationships with other faculty members, you may find that different mentors are able to bring their perspective to different aspects of your career, and that each is valuable in their own way.

If you have major concerns (e.g. abuse of power, personal safety, etc.) please contact the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Mentoring.

I've developed a good relationship with another faculty member. Can I switch to them as my official mentor?

If you have developed a good connection with another faculty member, they can be an unofficial mentor throughout your academic career. There is no such thing as one “super mentor,” and you can find value in cultivating a constellation of mentorship relationships.

Unless there is a major concern about your current mentor, you should plan to cultivate multiple mentoring relationships rather than switching.

Should I talk to my mentor or my professional academic advisor about the courses I want to take?

The short answer is both! Your faculty mentor is best suited to talk about course content, course sequence, and other scholarly considerations. Your professional academic advisor complements this by providing information about requirements, policies, tasks, and degree completion.


Landry, A., & Lewiss, R. E. (2021). What a Compassionate Email Culture Looks Like. Harvard Business Review.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and M. (2019). The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM. The National Academies Press.

NPR (2020). The Right Mentor Can Change Your Career. Here’s How to Find One.