Episode 19 – Mentorship

Mentorship is an excellent combination of hindsight being 20/20 and paying it forward. As we traverse our professional lives and interests, we learn the lay of the land through stumbles and hopefully even more successes. Finding someone to show you the ropes is an invaluable connection that helps minimize pitfalls and anxiety-induced moments.

Courtney and Jerrid have both been lucky to be on the receiving end of the mentor-mentee relationship. For Courtney, one of her mentors was her supervisor at her very first job out of library school. This supervisor went above and beyond the typical call of duty. Having been in the profession for quite some time, her mentor knew essential milestones Courtney needed to achieve to make herself marketable to a broader audience.

Jerrid attributes his academic and career trajectories to a whole team of mentors. He counts off a sizable list of names to demonstrate that mentorship can take all shapes and forms. It does not necessarily have to be the whole shebang from just one person. Along the way, Jerrid has picked up pieces of wisdom that cater to specific talents of each mentor. In turn, he was able to forge an informed path that led him to reach his goals.

A mentorship is a vital tool in social entrepreneurship where stakes are high, and there is little room for error. Finding a mentor may mean checking your ego at the door and putting yourself out there. All too often we like to go it alone and not ask for help, but in the business world, a mentor may save you time and money. The hosts encourage you to humble yourself. If you ask for advice and guidance, most people are willing to give it to you. A good start would be to look for people who are doing something similar to you and see what you can learn from them.

Although the mentor-mentee relationship may be established through a formal process to fit your needs and interests, more often than not it happens naturally. As Jerrid reflects on his mentors, he realizes that he may not have thought of them as mentors at the time. However as he reflects back upon those interactions, he understands how these associations have benefited his life.  

The hosts then flip the coin to talk about the times they have been in the role of mentor. Jerrid was involved in the creation of the Leadership Ally program at Rollins College. Students in this program attend conferences related to leadership and devise projects based on this topic. Upon their return, students are paired with faculty so that faculty may help them develop an action plan. Jerrid recalls that these pairings increased student productivity and follow-through.  

Jerrid and Courtney wrap up the show with a discussion of the teacher-student relationship and how closely (or not so closely) it may parallel that of the mentor-mentee relationship.

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