Mentees, it is your responsibility to make this mentoring relationship productive. Mentoring relationships work best if you clearly discuss with your mentor what you want to work on and discuss during the year. Here are some ways you can ensure that you learn the most from your mentor:
For more information, read this manual on mentoring from the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan: How to Get the Mentoring You Want: A Guide for Graduate Students.
Chapters 4 (Establishing a Mentoring Relationship) and 5 (Your Responsibilities as a Mentee) are particularly relevant.
Lastly, remember that no one mentor should be expected to help you with all aspects of your life. Throughout grad school (and the rest of your career), you will develop a network of mentors that, as a whole, will prepare you for a successful career and life. For example, while your academic adviser may be able to mentor you on your scientific development, your HGWISE mentor may be able to work with you on developing your presentation and networking skills, and an older graduate student in your program may help mentor you on maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
We hope you'll use this mentoring program as a way to develop the skills required to be an active and successful mentee, and can continue to use these skills in your relationships with other mentors in your career.