In Homer’s tale of Odyssey, Mentor was a faithful friend into whose care the world-wandering hero entrusted his son, Telemachus. Mentor’s role was to guide the prince’s development while his father was fighting in the Trojan Wars. Telemachus was supposed to be the future king; it was important that he was prepared.
Today’s mentor is defined as a wise and trusted guide and mentoring as a process where mentors – individuals with useful experience, skills and expertise - support other individuals – mentees in their personal and professional development.
Mentoring provides guidance, friendship and mutual respect. A mentoring relationship is an evolving process in which both the mentor and mentee can gain insight, knowledge and satisfaction. It is a medium for achieving developmental and professional goals. It is a giving experience by which mentors share their proficiency and expertise, and mentees share their knowledge and insight. It motivates both mentors and mentees to develop interpersonal and professional skills. It is a growth experience to cultivate mutual respect and support for the parties involved.