Mentorship has been popping up in my life a lot lately. In the past two weeks, I’ve attended the 10-year anniversary for Stanford’s alumni-student mentoring program, met with my own mentor of 16 years, had dinner with my mentee of 6 years, and volunteered to be a mentor at UC Berkeley’s Women Empowerment Day.
It was at that last event that one of the young women asked a great question: In the absence of formal mentoring programs, how do I find a mentor?
Sometime back in 2007, I was out on the balcony of Cheesecake Factory atop the Macy’s Union Square, eating an early dinner. Sitting across from me was my mentee Winnie, who was a junior at UC Berkeley at the time, and a friend she had brought along. Winnie had just landed a summer internship at a large cosmetics company. I was giving her advice on how to structure succinct yet effective communications, something I had learned during my first job out of undergrad.
“Wow, that’s really helpful. You should totally write a book on this stuff or something,” her friend said.
It’s now February 2011. Winnie is still my mentee, but now also a good friend. In the past four years, I feel like I’ve shared a lot of lessons I had picked up along the way with Winnie, and with many others younger than me. It’s finally gotten to the point where I repeatedly find myself having the same conversation and providing advice on the same topics, so I guess it is time to write these things down somewhere.
I didn’t come up with any of this stuff on my own; much of what I’ll be writing here I learned from others who were kind enough to share their thoughts and wisdom with me. This is simply a compilation of advice and guidance I have found useful in my life. I hope some pieces of it can be helpful to you, too.
Here goes. For Winnie. And for you.
Posted in advance your career
- Tagged advice, career, cheesecake factory, college student, get a job, guidance, help, mentee, mentor, mentorship, pay it forward, personal story, pursuit of happiness, success, undergrad, young adult