Interviewing: The next step to finding a mentor

The offices of the Center for Service and Leadership and Career Develop­ment hope to support students who are trying to develop professionally by guiding them on the route to find a mentor. Feb 8., the Center program assistant Katrina Miyamoto and Career Development prep consultant Kather­ine Felts hosted the workshop, Finding a Mentor: Informational Interviews. This workshop aimed to give direction to those looking for someone who can provide them with motivation, support and help networking — a mentor.

Miyamoto and Felts wanted students to remember that when seeking out a mentor, their comfort is key. Anybody can be a mentor, so students should reach out to whoever they feel would be pivotal in their development.

“[When seeing out a mentor] we need to push ourselves,” Miyamoto said. “It is a fallacy to think that poten­tial mentors do not have time for us.”

The workshop recommended trying to figure out who a first choice, second choice and left field mentor would be. Miyamoto feels that students have noth­ing to lose, but possibly something to gain by reaching out to a left field men­tor — someone that may not have been initially considered, but could be a worthwhile mentor.

Informational interviews were sug­gested as a great first step in figuring out what mentor is the best fit for a student and how to begin building a relationship with a mentor. This work­shop focused on how to prepare, con­duct and follow up on an informa­tional interview.

Felts discussed that it is common to feel nervous when first making contact with a potential mentor. She suggests finding ways to break the ice, perhaps with a question that asks the mentor to describe their journey.

“‘Who did you use to be?’ can be a great question that not only allows you to learn more about your mentor but can remind you that mentors are people,” said Felts. “Everyone had to start somewhere.”

PHOTO BY MEILING SPROGER
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