Mentoring – How do you do it?


How do you mentor another engineer? As an example, the IEM has a mentoring scheme thats based around a logbook. The mentor meets up with the mentee at least once every 3 months, and reviews what the mentee has done. The mentor is meant to provide guidance as to whether the work done allows the engineer to develop.

When I go through a report, what I look for is:

  • Breadth of experience (I use the IChemE‘s report structure for this). The mentee should be exposed such as to develop her all her skills. This would mean the opportunity to explore as much as possible all engineering topics. Project management, safety, design, operations are just some of these.
  • Appreciation of engineering as a whole. A young engineer might think that running Hysys is cool, but you want them to understand why they are doing what they are doing. You don’t want to have only an technical software pilot, you do want an analysis as well. The tool is a means, not a ways.
  • Presentation of report. Engineers need to present their products. So clear writing skills and an proper flow is important. Highlighting important items and findings, and focusing on the deliverable would be something I would want to see.
  • General well-being. Is the mentee happy, is she getting enough support, is the mentor someone she wants to throw a brick at… you get the drift. The mentor should decide whether it is something she can help with, or the mentee should be able to deal with it herself with some tips of the trade.
  • Opportunity to influence exposure. You as a mentor should have enough clout to get  your mentee into projects or activities that help broaden their horizons.
  • Inspiration. It does help if you can get your mentee excited about work. Explain why they are doing the work that they do (need to build up experience, enhancing skills, exposure to client/site/software tools)

And you can do this more than once every three months, depending on the requirements. Engineers do get up and down days, you know.

13 Responses to Mentoring – How do you do it?

  1. Syahrizal S says:

    IEM is unbelievable. It took me 2 years and 30 phone calls to get myself registered. The funny thing is that because I graduated with a ChE degree, I cannot be credited as a Professional Petroleum Engineer. You have to practice what you had studied. How many of us have that luxury? I may have to be creative to get it sorted out.

  2. zzeed says:

    yeah, i have to give a few phone calls too, but not as many as 30. neither do i have the luxury, hm, which i think seems so ideal. iem should be more “real”… how many really practice what they study? working life is different.

  3. Interesting blog! I look forward reading it in the future
    Devin Willis

  4. theresa says:

    How do i become a mentor and simplify my job by conducting classes (hands on) to make an foreign worker skillful at the end of the 2 weeks training.

    • Wata says:

      Theresa: a two week stint is not mentoring, that is training. When you mentor, buzzwords like ‘discussion’, ‘growth’, ‘plans’, ‘direction’ come into play. You do assessments and evaluations, and provide guidance.

  5. JabbatheHutt says:

    bodoh punya IEM. after applying for 1 yr, they say my UK degree is not recognised because their system does not show it (well, we’re ranked top 10 for chem eng).

    when they couldn’t take the abuse, they say my file sudah hilang.

    • MAB says:

      hahaha…i reg with IEM under Elect, but once i received the approval it shown that i’ve been reg under chem. i already notice them about this n still now i got no response.maybe my file also dah hilang.

      • Wata says:

        MAB: what discipline did you graduate in? And did you register with the BEM or IEM? IEM doesn’t assign you to dscipline. Just getting the facts straight before hang jabba takes a kris to the matter.

      • Jabbathehutt says:

        don’t worry, Ja-Hutt is Anti-IEM/BEM.

  6. MAB says:

    mr wata,
    i grad in elect.i reg with BEM n also IEM.
    IEM doesn’t assign me to discipline???i don’t think so, because when i get the approval letter it said that “your name will be registerd in the discipline of chemical engineering”.

    • Wata says:

      MAB: Easy enough to solve. Send a copy of your BEM & IEM registration to me at fpso(at)igl.com.my, and I can see to the bottom of the matter.

  7. mab says:

    btw,i didn’t mean to condemn any party.human do mistake.

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