Captaining your own MentorSHIP — Supported by Hootsuite
- Steve Eccles- CEO of Northeastern University
- Christine Dupuis- Sr. Director of Product, Hootsuite
- Yun Fan- Sr. Software Development Engineer, AWS
- Sommer Harris- Align Student, Northeastern University
I went into this session totally biased...
In my mind, I’m thinking, “Mentorship? I graduated from university over a decade ago - this was an important concept for a student entering the workforce but I have no business in any mentorship agreements right now.”
Honestly, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The panel discussion completely opened my eyes to the importance of mentorship no matter what stage of your career you’re in.
Personally, I worked in hospitality for 10+ years and was managing a top-tier company yielding amazing relationships and results. I did experience severe burnout, followed by COVID, and wrapped that all up by changing careers to work in tech. How did I never consider approaching a mentor? Was my imposter syndrome so severe that I couldn’t even consider this as an opportunity?
Yes! A great takeaway from this session was to hear that leaders in their industry are incredibly complimented to be asked to mentor, and typically they want to share their knowledge with those willing to listen and absorb.
Throughout the session, another major concept was introduced: having your own personal Board of Directors. This means working with more than one mentor at a time for various purposes: work, growth, personal, etc. The benefits of this could be instrumental in building lasting relationships within your network, which ties into the theme of the entire Regatta: Relationships are the True Currency.
This made me consider the contacts I have from my previous life (career) and how reaching out to those people for industry-based discussions would be so fantastic. And how this could help me build the confidence to offer my own services as a mentor. Even though I’m only two years into tech, I’m 12+ years into managing sales departments, growing revenues, and building start-ups from scratch.
The panel listed some great advice for having multiple mentorships be successful:
- Go into the relationship knowing what you want to get out of it
- Set your goals and track your progress
- Be responsible, accountable, and organized with both of your time
- Prepare questions in advance
- Don’t forget to follow up with feedback and thank them; even if you didn’t take the advice
I quite like the last point - let your mentor know what advice you took, what worked, and what you decided against - this is a great learning experience for both of you!