Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Download this course

Share this free course

Exploring career mentoring and coaching
Exploring career mentoring and coaching

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

3 Reviewing my own experience

Two women are looking at a computer screen. One is supporting the other.
Figure 4 Being mentored

Before you consider mentoring and coaching in more detail, this is a good time to reflect on your own experience of these processes. It will give you a useful starting point for the course and inform your decisions about how to progress after completing it.

While you might not have experienced a formally identified mentoring or coaching relationship, you may well have encountered informal mentoring or coaching from someone, for example, a teacher or a colleague. In Activity 1 you considered who some of those individuals might be. Include those experiences when you are reflecting in Activity 4.

Activity 4 Where am I now?

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes

Ask yourself the following questions:

Have I ever been mentored or coached?
  • Was it a formal or informal interaction?
  • Was it with the right mentor or coach?
  • How has the relationship helped you? Think of an example when it made a difference.
  • What could have gone better? Think of an example when it didn’t help.
  • Did/do you want to continue that relationship?
  • Do you need something different now?
  • What could a mentor/coach help you with?
  • Can you think of an example when it could have been useful?
  • Do you have informal mentoring/coaching support from colleagues you trust? Could that be formalised?
Have I ever been a mentor or coach?
  • Was it a formal or informal experience?
  • If informal – would I like to formalise my role?
  • What did I gain personally and professionally from the experience?
  • How did my mentee/coachee respond?
  • Is it something I would like to continue?
  • Do I need some training?
  • Would I like to be a mentor/coach?
  • If yes – what would I enjoy about it?
  • If no – why not?
  • Who would I mentor/coach?
  • Do I need some training?

Record your answers in the box below.

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


Assessing and noting your own experience of mentoring and/or coaching at the beginning of the course will give you a starting point for your learning and help you to get the most from each week as you come to it.

Reflection is an important element of coaching and mentoring, and the more you do it the better you will get! Completing this exercise will help you to practise your reflective skills. In Week 2, you’ll focus on self-reflection in more detail.

In this section, you’ve considered your starting point, recognising your own level of experience in the mentoring or coaching context. In the next section, you’ll focus on ensuring that you have the time you need to make the most from this course.