Ending a Mentorship


Sometimes ending a mentorship can be confusing because the relationship may or may not have been a positive one. Every situation is unique, but we’ve shared a couple recommended actions based on past mentor and mentee experiences. We encourage our mentors and mentees not to ghost each other, but be honest and up-front with one another if your situations have changed. It takes work to make a mentorship work, but if you don’t find it to be a fit, it is appropriate to end a mentorship before the year commitment is up. Take a look at the scenarios below to determine how to move forward and end your mentorship correctly.

Scenario: Your mentee/mentor have been amazing and you’ve had a great year.

Action: Keep connecting with your mentor/mentee. Try new projects together and take an opportunity to set up a wrap-up meeting to share your lessons learned and close out your year right. Mentees, consider giving a gift or card of thanks to your mentor. Nothing expensive is necessary, but something thoughtful will make a big impact on your mentor. Mentors, consider sharing some of the things you’ve learned from your mentee. How have you grown and what are you most proud of about your mentee? Perhaps think of someone that you can connect them with to keep their professional development going.

Student Scenarios and Templates

Mentee Scenario #1: You and your mentor have had a great year so far, but you’d like to take on a new mentor.

Action: You don’t need to stop one mentor to take on a new mentorship. If you are able to balance multiple mentorships, you can take on more than one mentor. If you feel you can’t keep up the level of engagement with the one you’ve had, and need to decrease the amount of time you meet, just let your mentor know what you are thinking. Take an opportunity to share the milestones you have reached together, and that you’d like to connect with someone that can help you grow in a different way. Just communicate your desire to grow in this way and your mentor may even have some possible connections.

Mentee Scenario #2: You and your mentor met once or twice, and you had a great connection. You’ve dropped the ball and haven’t reached out to them, and now it has been a couple months since you’ve reached out. You feel a bit embarrassed and are nervous to reach out. You assume they must not care to continue the relationship so perhaps you don’t need to say anything and just move on.

Action: You have to get over your embarrassment and just send a quick note. Your mentor is waiting for you to take the lead, and they will be thrilled to hear from you. Don’t overthink it and just reach out. If you need some words to use, send the following note:

Dear ____,

First and foremost, my apologies for dropping the ball. This quarter was an intense one, but I got through it! I would love to share with you some of the lessons I learned with you and could use your insights on tackling my next quarter. Do you have some time to meet in the coming weeks?

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Your Name

Mentee Scenario #3: You have been trying to reach your mentor for more than a month, but they haven’t responded to your emails.

Action: Send the following short note to your mentor. After you do, cancel your mentorship on UCLA ONE and send a new request to another mentor.

Dear ____,

Thank you for accepting my mentorship request; however, after __ attempts to reach you, I realize that it may not be a good time for you to take on a mentee. I will go ahead and cancel our mentorship in UCLA ONE.

Your Name

Mentor Scenarios and Templates

Mentor Scenario #1: You and your mentee met once, but they have not reached out to set up a regular meeting. It’s been one or two months since they’ve connected with you and you’ve sent one or two emails to attempt to connect.

Action: Sometimes a mentee is overwhelmed with their plate, and doesn't quite know how to end a mentorship that they aren’t prepared for. If the mentee has made you wait long enough, we encourage you to send an email like the one below and then “Decline” their request in UCLA ONE.

Dear ___,

I’ve sent ___ emails to you, but I haven’t heard back from you. It seems like you are not able to keep the mentorship going. I will stop our mentorship now. I encourage you to not be afraid to communicate with future alumni. I know this year has been a lot, so hope you are well.

Your Name

Mentor Scenario #2: Your mentee has been difficult to connect with, and irresponsible in keeping scheduled meetings. They are not respectful of your time, and being their mentor has not been rewarding as it feels like you are chasing them to meet. Don’t hesitate to give feedback, but do be thoughtful in your delivery.

Action: As a mentor, your time is valued, and if the mentee is not being respectful, we recommend you send an email like the following:

Dear Name,

It was nice connecting with you last week, but I wanted to share a quick bit of feedback. I have felt like you aren’t invested in the mentorship, and wanted to check in to see if you are still interested in keeping this going. From my impressions, I think it will be most beneficial if we cancel our mentorship. If you feel like you’d like to take on a mentorship, I hope that you would consider doing it during a time when you are more available. I’ll go ahead and cancel our mentorship on UCLA ONE to remove the commitment from your plate.

Your Name

Mentor Scenario #3: You and your mentee have had a great mentorship, and you feel connected to your mentee. However, you feel like you would like to take on a new mentee next year.

Action: Set some time to do a wrap-up meeting with your mentee. During the meeting, share some milestones and lessons you’ve learned. Let your mentee know that you have valued this year, and that they’ve inspired you to continue being a mentor. Let your mentee know that you’ll be taking on new mentees at the next mentorship period and that they can stay in communication with you throughout the year and set up times to meet.


Boxed_WhiteType_Alumni cog user CLOSE MENU