Mentorship, Mentee, Mentor relationship, productivity, career advancement, asking for help, work relations
WORKPLACE SUCCESS / 14 December 2016
It's Mentee Be
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Vivian Guo Phang
Branding Intern
San Diego

Sometimes you struggle. Actually, A LOT OF TIMES you struggle. We’ve all had those “I don’t know what i’m doing with my life” moments. Trust me, everyone gets those moments. Yes. even #queenb Beyonce has those moments. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to go to in those moments of self-doubt and confusion? Don’t fret. I’m here to tell you how to achieve the #relationshipgoals (but really #mentorship goals)

So you’re probably in college, going through the typical broke college student struggles. 

  1. I have no money so I’m going to eat cup noodles.
  2. How to friendship
  3. That cute girl/guy you are trying to holla at
  4. Studying aka cramming? 
  5. What is this concept of sleep? 
  6. Making your college experience a worthwhile one.

The answer to all your questions, or at least some of them, can be found by jumping on a mentor-ship and watching it set sail. To get some insight on academics, career, relationships, drama, and life in general, talking it through with a mentor can open your eyes to a whole new world. 

Step 1: Finding a mentor

How to find a mentor 101: Anybody can be a mentor to you. Truth is, there’s probably a bunch of people who already act as a mentor figure but you just don’t put an official title to it. Anybody you go to for advice is essentially your mentor. It is extremely common to have more than one mentor but your goal should be to find the one that fits you best! There are two main types of mentors. 

  1. The peer-to-peer mentors, who are typically students just like you who have relate-able experiences with college life and personal drama. 
  2. The “grey-haired mentors” who are usually older professionals who provide more formal advice that come from their many years of wisdom.

Peer-to-peer Mentor

There are numerous ways to find your peer-to-peer mentor. They could be one of your closest friends or just someone whose goals are similar to yours. Many times, organizations on campus (which I 10/10 recommend joining) have a mentorship aspect integrated into their structure. This was how I found one of the best mentors I’ve ever had, and we were matched based on our personality traits and career goals. To this day, she is one of my greatest inspirations. Sometimes, you just need to reach out to somebody and ask for their advice. Many times, people you already know will naturally take on a mentor role in your life.

Grey-haired Mentor

On another note, I once went to a workshop where a professional said it’s important to “find the person with gray hair” to be your mentor. This relies on the idea that

“whatever struggle you are facing right now in this moment, somebody else has experienced this exact thing and has already come up with a solution.”

Why start from scratch when there are resources out there to help you? Learn from others’ mistakes, especially the gray-haired ones who have been through constant trial and error.They are the ones who can give professional advice and insight into careers while also being your friend. Typically their career path is the one that you are currently considering. 

Step 2: Developing the Relationship

This is where you DTR - Define the relationship. A mentor-mentee relationship can be anything you want it to be, but you should know what you want to get out of it. Many times, your mentor can seem more like your friend than a mentor. Don’t feel like you should put your mentors on a pedestal - They’re human too.

Build a solid foundation. Start with casual conversation and get to know the person first! When you two are comfortable and your personalities compliment each other, your mentor/mentee relationship will feel natural. Development of the relationship takes times, and you will have to put in the effort just like any other relationship. Eventually, you will trust them enough to help with your problems and their advice will be meaningful to you.

Step 3: Keep in Touch

As you develop that relationship with your mentor, both of you will be invested in each other’s lives. Mentors want the best for you and want to help you achieve your goals. They want to see you grow. Understand that and don’t be afraid to reach out for help when the time comes. It’s important to update your mentors about your achievements and what you have next on your agenda. Remember, mentors are your friends! You should feel comfortable asking for their advice in your times of uncertainty.  

Now, put down that cup noodle. Introduce yourself to strangers. Ask that girl/guy out. Study and sleep. Figure out what you want in a mentor. Then, go out there and find yourself the perfect one. If you put in the effort, it will feel like it’s mentee be