I have entered into a full cycle of being a mentee and a mentor: my mentor, Vivian is a Cal alumni, and my mentee Andrea is a sophomore economics student. My relationship with Vivian has been so extremely gratifying that it inspired me to become a mentor — a phenomenon I like to call the ”mentor effect.’ Here’s what I’ve learned along the way.
Utilize Your School’s Alumni Network
I came across Vivian’s profile on Cal’s mentorship program through the alumni network, and I knew she would be the perfect fit for me: we grew up in the same city, we share a similar academic background and we were both passionate about the same industry. Your school’s alumni network is a perfect starting point in your search for a mentor, because chances are you will find someone who shares a similar background and interests.
Discuss Your Goals and Mission
After a brief exchange through emails, Vivian and I had our first casual meeting where I discussed my interests and goals for the future. It’s important to identify and communicate to your mentor how she or he could best help. I remember when I first heard about the Levo League, I was so eager to get involved that I emailed Vivian right away — I knew she could best advise me on how to reach out to the team.
Show Your Appreciation
A mentorship should not be one-sided, and so as a mentee, show your appreciation by writing a nice thank-you note or treating your mentor to lunch. Stay in touch regularly, even if you don’t need new advice or help.
I have found mentoring Andrea to be even more fulfilling than I could imagine. I learn from Vivian’s mentoring tactics and apply it to my mentorship with Andrea, hoping I can provide her that support system Vivian provides me. As discussed elsewhere on this site, you are never too young to be a mentor, so don’t let age or career level hold you back!