A Mentor: Where and how to find them ?

As 2nd year students, I think this is the time when we should plan our careers. The competition among graduate students is huge, so it’s good if we can find someone who can guide us. The Networking Basics course partly showed me how to build a network and how to find a mentor for myself.
First Round – Networking Basics is a basic course consisting of 8 modules. The content of the course is mostly about how to build a network and how to find and communicate with mentor. Modules are shown through videos which very vividly and easy to understand. here I will summarize them

Module 1 : Your Professional Identity

First of all, this course is for us, who we are as a student and how professional we are connected to our study. As soon as we finish our study, that is the time for us to find for ourself a job. But reality sometimes hurt, with only knowledges from school, it is not enough for us to find a good job, which mean after graduating, we must continue to develop our skills and knowledges. There are no teachers when we graduated, that is why we have to find a mentor, who can help and teach us in the future. There are five qualities which is useful for us if we want to find a mentor:

Empathy: Listen, look at and understand the opinion of the person who you want to be your mentor. The more empathy you have with them, the stronger connection.

Curiosity: Always have for yourself questions about how that person have built their career. Listen to the story of their journey, learn their experiences. Maybe you can find answered for your career through their stories.

Gratitude: They spend their time with you, give you the helps you need, tell you the stories and experiences, all you need to do is showing your gratitude to them.

Relevance: This is quite important, show them how this conversation/help can connect to your career, how necessary it is.

Respect: What do you want to receive when you help someone, do the same to your mentor.

Module 2: How to find a mentor via Linkedln:

If we take Facebook as your entertainment platform, so Linkedln is your career platform. We you can focus on which field/industry you want to seek for a job. There are four distinguish way to find a mentor:

Perfect Overlap“: it could be a person who comes from the same class with you or a former student who is working on something you are interested in .

Great Overlap“: it could be a person from your school and working at a field that interests you.

Similarities“: It could be a person from a company who you are interested in, or a person have the same study with you.

Some interesting“: It could be a person you are curious about.

Module 3: Linkedln Messaging

Using telephone and email are some of the traditional ways to contact a person. However, in the business environment, we can contact via Linkedln. A good message should respond to three W: Who, Why, What.

Who are you ?

Short introduction about yourself for the person who you are reaching.

Why are you reaching to this person ?

Tell them the reason why you want to contact them.

What do you want from this person ?

Tell them what you expect from this conversation.

Module 4: Coordinate Calls Efficiently

Everyone has their own work and time, so it is important to arrange calls quickly and simply. Someone who spends time for you, you should respect that. Need to plan carefully, report time, means of communication (call or create a meeting room). It is necessary to consider and fully ensure all the necessary factors to facilitate communication. For example, in case you create a meeting room, you should be the first person in room, make sure your microphone and webcam are working well, clearly, the network connection must be very stable for the meeting.

Module 5,6,7 : Anatomy & Navigation of a Call, Professional Story Prototyping, Research & Questions.

These 3 modules are about preparing and operating a communication.
Module 5 covers how you can run a good conversation. This action is performed in the order:
-First contact moment, this is essential. Next, once you have contacted a mentor, all you need to do is introduce yourself, which is a way to start a conversation. Then there are the questions and questions that you will discuss with mentors. Finally comes the conclusion of what was discussed in that conversation.
-Five qualities of “empathy, curiosity, gratitude, suitability, respect” should be applied throughout the conversation.
Module 6 covers how you give your information to the other person.

-What you need in this step is to introduce who you are, your skills and interests, your current status and your future career plans, what do you expect from the conversation.
Module 7 covers what you should prepare for the conversation.

Of course, the most essential thing is to prepare the questions that you want to discuss with mentors to make the conversation will go smoothly, avoiding interruptions.
-The questions should be divided and arranged to suit each point in the conversation:
-The main and very first questions: questions about their career paths and processes
-Mid stage: you can go deeper into the industry and the companies they used to work in, the skills they already have and the challenges they faced.
-Last but not least it is to ask them what advice and suggestions for you.
When the conversation comes to an end, the most important thing is to show gratitude for taking the time and guidance for you.

Module 8: Build Lasting Relationship

After the conversation, you can get a lot of information, opinions, advice and good opportunities. You can send a message saying that you appreciate the conversation, first to express gratitude, and then begin to build a long-term relationship. You can ask if you and your mentor can stay in touch. This makes the person feel your gratefulness, as well as makes them feel that they are appreciated by you.

In conclusion, I personally appreciate this course. It made me feel that creating a network and communicating with those who were ahead was important. In addition, this course helped me learn more about how to prepare and conduct a professional conversation.

Source:

Besek, Paul. 2021. Networking Basics. https://first-round.teachable.com.

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