Virtual mentoring or e-mentoring is nothing but remotely connecting mentors and mentees instead of a classic face-to-face interaction. It has become a go-to for the post-pandemic world and opened up many young mentees to a world of knowledge and guidance. But to see this new form of communication only through its positives would be unfair because it comes with a few challenges of its own. Of course, when you think about the pursuit of knowledge and skills, distance becomes a secondary problem. However, for those used to a fairly personal and interactive learning method, it may take a while to adjust to looking at someone talking on a screen all day. There are various virtual mentoring platforms that are continuously evolving their interface and approach towards e-learning in order to incorporate effective teaching methods and make their mentees more comfortable in this space. If you are curious to learn but have doubts regarding the benefits of virtual mentoring, we have listed several pros and cons of virtual mentorship to give you a clearer idea of what you could be getting into.

Pros of Virtual Mentoring Programs

  • Two-Way Transfer of Knowledge: In virtual mentoring, communication can be more open and thus both the mentor and mentee get a lot to learn from each other. This is just not as markedly seen in a f2f interaction when there is one mentor and a large number of mentees. Virtually, knowledge can flow efficiently between different cultures and skill levels, as opposed to a restricted group of people.
  • Manageable Schedules: One of the most important benefits of virtual coaching and mentoring training activities is the immense flexibility it provides, both to the mentor as well as the mentee. You can arrange and opt for meetings as per your busy schedule and manage your time quite effectively. There may be some sort of disadvantages of virtual meetings when not scheduled or rescheduled in the mentioned time. In a world where time is becoming more synonymous with money every day, this advantage trumps most of the cons of virtual mentoring. 
  • Bigger Pool of Opportunities and Possible Recruitment: When you obtain knowledge from some of the most renowned and certified mentors out there, it helps build confidence in your skills and opens up opportunities for internships and provides a larger field of knowledge. It involves larger participation from like-minded individuals and thus, greater benefits.
  • Better exposure: You can access mentors from different locations and explore new ideas, cultures and practices. This is a great opportunity to learn about diversity and get in touch with people starkly different from those in your geographical location. Both the mentors and mentees will undergo an all-around experience and learn from each other.

Cons of Virtual Mentoring Programs

Apart from the many benefits of mentoring in a virtual environment, there are also some hurdles that stop this platform from helping its users be more productive. But there are ways to conquer these challenges effectively.

  • Communication troubles: When the platform is largely online and the mentee is solely responsible for grasping the information given to them by the mentor, it causes the mentor to be confused whether his/her mentees are actually benefiting from the program. Body language and facial expressions are important cues to know whether the mentee is following what you speak and even make it easy for them to understand. This can be overcome by more interactive forms of communication such as video calling. This will also make the mentees take the program seriously.
  • Limited Technology: In a less than perfect world, technology does not always work when you need it the most. Problems in technology and connections are not stable throughout the country or the world. This problem is to be noted especially when mentees come from all nooks and corners of the globe. Failures in technology can be a cause of frustration and lead to tense relationships among the participants. Although they can’t be prevented, they can be prepared for by an alternative option such as communicating through emails or calls occasionally. 
  • Lack of Chemistry and Absence of Informal Mentorship: As mentors and mentees are unable to interact in person, they may face difficulties in establishing comfortable chemistry, which takes longer in a formal relationship in the first place. This can cause problems in engagement and reduce the overall success of the program. In a corporate environment where the “water-cooler”  talks lead to a strong informal mentorship and guidance, a virtual platform still lacks that personal touch. This can be overcome when mentors and mentees are chosen carefully and mentees are matched with like minded mentors for a smooth learning process. There are a wide number of consequences of not having a mentor. So have one, and improvise in every possible way.


Virtual mentorship platforms work well when they incorporate the best practices for virtual mentoring. This includes always staying connected regardless of any method such as frequent calls, live video lectures, emails, etc. to keep track of progress. Staying focused, making plans and being prepared for any eventuality makes the mentorship program stronger. This can be improved by having clear expectations beforehand, setting goals, showing accountability, establishing boundaries, being proactive, updating to include the latest technologies and getting regular feedback from the participants. Take a look at our comprehensive list of mentors, and choose the ones that best suit your needs.


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