This resource is provided by American Corporate Partners, which aims to ease the transition from the military to the civilian workforce. ACP is a national nonprofit organization focused on helping returning veterans and active duty spouses find their next careers through one-on-one mentoring, networking and online career advice.

Tips for a Successful First Meeting

Building a solid foundation for your mentorship means establishing trust and communicating openly about your goals, accomplishments and objectives for the future. Use these prompts to start the conversation with your Mentor or Protégé.

Talk About Mentoring

Discuss what it means to be in a mentorship

  • Why did you become involved with ACP?
  • What does mentoring mean to you?
  • Have you ever been in a mentorship before?

Talk About Your Careers

Discuss your career progression

  • What professional experience, both civilian and military, do you have?
  • What was the career path you took that led to your current role?
  • How do you handle professional obstacles or roadblocks?
  • What is the best way to obtain and respond to feedback at work?
  • What part of your job do you find most challenging?
  • What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
  • What areas would you like to develop skills in or learn more about?
  • What would you say are your best professional skills?
  • What skills or competencies do you find that new professionals often lack?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals?

Talk About Your Personal Lives & Interests

Take the time to get to know one another

  • Who do you talk to when you need advice?
  • How do you deal with criticism?
  • How do you stay motivated?
  • What books or authors have been influential to you?
  • What newspapers and magazines do you read most often?
  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your favorite weekend activities?
  • Talk About the Structure of Your Mentorship

Discuss the logistics that will help support your mentorship

  • How often do you expect to meet, talk or videoconference?
  • Who should take responsibility for initiating meetings?
  • What is the best way to get in touch?
  • Consider establishing a monthly communication schedule.
  • What should the focus of your second meeting be?
  • Discuss tangible goals for your “12 significant discussions.”
  • What do you hope to gain from your mentorship?