Practice Mentorship – Learning Is Mutual
When the first mentorship platform was launched by RSM, I think I was one of the early adopters of this initiative. The reason for taking up the role of a mentor was mainly related to the fact that learning doesn’t stop after you graduate, in reality the learning curve gets steeper and steeper the moment you start working. While in the beginning mentoring was mainly a personal curiosity and an opportunity for me to give back to the RSM community, later on it became clear to me that sharing knowledge is important and has a significant impact on people that have similar interests or that are asking themselves the same questions you were asking yourself several years ago.
In addition, giving advice and visualizing career paths for mentees puts the mentor in the position of reevaluating himself: how did I get here, could I have taken better decisions, is my advice still relevant to young students, and so on…
Mentors Can Be Valuable Resources
I really enjoy the discussions with mentees that have prepared for the call/meeting beforehand. This shows dedication and respect for the mentor’s time and helps having a smooth and fruitful conversation. If it is a career discussion, I normally try to understand the student’s requirements/preferences before I give advice. This helps me give clearer guidance to the mentees to make them understand where they should start and what areas they should focus on. I look at my own experience but I also go through the career paths of my older and more experienced colleagues in order to have a broader scope.
Such discussions can also lead to informal job interviews. Mentors, in this case, become connectors within the industry. Companies value talent and from that perspective a strong relationship with the mentor can even lead to a good career start.