I recently received an invitation from my alma mater, Brigham Young University asking me to mentor a student in the Economics department. This is a great opportunity to give back and build the next generation of budding economists.
The program coordinator gave the following suggestions when working with a mentee.
- Be kind and encouraging, but honest– Show confidence in your mentee, but if you sense that he/she is headed in the wrong direction, share your honest opinion.
- Serve as a guide, not an “answer person”– Share your advice when you think it’s needed, but also guide your student to his/her own answers.
- Put yourself in their shoes– Remember how you were when you were in college. How much did you not know? What would have helped you the most?
- Share your knowledge – Sharing your knowledge and experience will greatly benefit your student.
As a mentor, your job is to help the mentee in whatever capacity they need. Sometimes they don’t even know what they need, but you can step in and lead them in the right direction.
Ask yourself these questions to help guide them along the path.
- What do I wish I would have known at their life stage?
- How did I become who I am today?
- What are they doing that is a mistake that they aren’t aware of?
- How can I make this person extremely desirable in the job market?
Review with them my other Career Strategy posts to get them started, and add your thoughts to them as you go along. Below are the links to the previous strategies.
What else have you or your mentor done that has been effective?