Mentors – PFP Assignments

1. Mentor Candidates.
Mentors are folks who are leaders or role models, people who you admire to some degree, with experience or skills that strongly interest you. An ideal mentor is someone who is much more experienced and connected than you, someone who could serve as an occasional advisor, or helper. Someone in their 50’s or older is much more likely to spend occasional time mentoring you than someone in their 30’s. Likewise, they will have accomplished more and be a more obvious role model. Try to pick mentors whose lives have been so positive, interesting, successful, or distinguished that you would be happy to have a life that is only a fraction as accomplished as theirs has been.

At least one of your mentors should be relatively unfamous and not-too-rich, so that you have a better chance of spending quality time with them. At least one of them should be the opposite: someone distinguished, famous, or successful, and thus probably hard to get access to. For the second type of mentor, you may have to call to talk to their secretaries several weeks in a row in order to get a chance to talk to them, or to have your mentor request looked at. When you call or email, pick the same day and time of the week, like a Monday afternoon, and keep trying until you get a definite answer. You may just be ignored at first.

Do your homework first. Be sure that you can describe what it is about your mentor that really impresses you, and that you would like to emulate in your own small way. Ask if you can talk to them for 20 minutes by phone, or by email at least twice a year (June and January) to tell them where you are in your education, and always ask for their specific advice on internships, courses, projects, etc. Let them get to know you, without boring them with too much detail. Put these mentor contact appointments in your schedule and be ready to have them cancelled and rescheduled. Successful mentors are busy people. Every time you talk to or email them, be sure to bring two things: 1) a gift, usually something small like an article you think they might be interested in, and 2) a question, asking their advice on some specific decisions ahead in your life. If one of your mentors is nearby you may get lucky and be invited to lunch with them on one of these occasions.

As you get closer to graduation, with good planning on your part your mentor will have become aware of your interests and skills, and will have advised you on your summer internships, your school and extracurricular projects, and some of the skills you’ve learned in college. Perhaps most importantly, they may now be an a good position to help you with your job placement on graduation. If you pick a mentor in a company you’d love to work in, you may get a substantial edge in the hiring process, since you’ve been learning about that company for years in a row, and have a good relationship with one of their more distinguished employees.You can find more books and tips on mentoring by googling around, but the above advice is some of the most basic and important.

List the names of three mentor possibilities below, and two or more sentences for each name that describes who they are, where they live, their rough age (guess if you aren’t sure), what they do or have done, and why you think they might be a great mentor for you. (3 mentor possibilities, 2+ descriptive sentences for each potential mentor)
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Ready to start using this wiki page for recording your Mentor activities? Go ahead and keep writing them on this page once you've finished these assignments. May you find some excellent role models who help you greatly with your future plans!

Mentors - Personal Futures Wiki - ExampleAll material on this wiki is open source, creative commons licensed. Feel free to use any portion of this with appropriate attribution to "University of Advancing Technology, Foresight Development curriculum."