Hackbright paired us with mentors last night and it was really great to see so many people in the software engineering and development community who came out. There is so much support that they’ve assigned 2 mentors for every student which is awesome.
If there was enough time in the day and I had enough energy, I would have loved to talk to every person who attended to hear their story and perspective on things. The reality was that after a day of studying SQL, which made my brain ache, I was already tired by the time the mixer started. Actually, I seem to be struggling a lot lately with so much I want to know and learn and just not enough time or space to do it. It’s a good problem to have and I would kill for the Matrix brain upload or some kind of Harry Potter time loop thing.
Still the excitement in meeting our mentors last night recharged me long enough to get to know a little about the two fantastic people I’ve been linked to.
Prior to the event, there was a lot of excited and nervous energy in the class around mentors from who we were partnered with to what would we talk to them about. A couple of pointers on how to approach the first meeting as well as working with mentors in general:
Get to know your mentor
- People like to talk about themselves. So ask questions.
- What’s your background in …?
- How did you get into that field?
- Where did you go to school?
- What advice would you give yourself if you were starting out again?
- Are there any resources (e.g. books, sites, meetups…) you recommend?
- What’s their career goals
Talk about yourself
- What inspired you to apply to Hackbright
- What do you like about the experience and what is challenging
- Where do you need help
- What are your goals with the program
Set next steps
- Figure out what’s the best way to communicate with your mentor
- See how often s/he are available to meet and/or talk (Some will have more time than others)
- Set a regular time to get together if that works
- Share contact information and link to your mentor through social media
- And then just start reaching out with questions
Know that the mentor has let you know that s/he is ready and willing to help you just by signing up and showing up. The door is now open and the ball is in your court for you to take action and determine how you want to leverage the opportunity.