How to find a mentor when you’re an intern
Every intern that enters the workplace is hoping to find someone to share their work with, for some, a trusted colleague, for others a mentor, and for others someone who will help steer their career to its next great step. When you’re an intern, you have nothing to lose – meaning you should be able to ask for help and know that you’ll be in the know if you can’t solve a problem. How do you find a mentor?
Mentoring is a two-way street, but the older person needs to set a good example for your career goals. In my experience, only mentoring people who are as confident in their work and their surroundings as they are is going to help you. You need to develop a good working relationship with a mentee. Whether it’s the person you’re going to be staying with for longer in the business world or a mentor, putting in the effort to make your relationship a success will give you the edge you need when making career decisions. In my experience, it’s important to be hands-on, helping and supporting the person you’re mentoring, by figuring out what they need most so you can help them get there yourself.
Who can be a mentor?
At first glance, it’s important to think about a number of individuals who could be a mentor to you: your manager, a colleague or supervisor who has worked at the same place for several years and knows a lot about your job, someone you know who came from the same background as you and hopes to help you progress in your career, or a family member who is supportive of your work path. But it’s better to ask the person directly, as you don’t want to jeopardize your working relationship with them if you say you want a mentor, and your second question needs to be: How can I become a mentor for you?
A mentor is someone who is asking for and willing to give you advice based on their personal experience and knowledge, so even if they aren’t going to offer specific advice in this way, their positive attitude, encouragement and encouragement could be very helpful to you.
At first, you might only want advice about what your future career path might be, but then your mentor will probably want to see you progress in your current role, and see you grow. In my experience, as your mentor, your only responsibility is to be open to learning from your relationship with the person you’re mentoring.
Making the connection
You can make the connection with someone who may already be a mentor by approaching them and asking them what advice they would have for someone they know that’s a big step forward in their career. This can often happen with people you know at a work or school level, who have help your future career transition, or people you know who are not where you are but are very successful. Perhaps you can ask your mentor what advice he or she would have for someone starting out in their job, or a boss who would benefit from a mentor. If you ask with the intention of learning from the person, their advice is much more likely to be of help to you.
They’ll give you guidance based on their experiences and knowledge. A personal endorsement by a trusted colleague or authority figure can bring career success in your own career. What’s more, as your relationship continues to develop, you’ll be able to develop a mentor-mentee relationship, and eventually a mentor-mentee relationship can become a close and trusted friendship.
The ultimate career goal is a successful professional career, and a mentor is a great starting point. While it can be hard to choose a mentor, if you do, the end result will be worth it, as they’ll inspire you to reach your goal of advancing your career in the workplace.
Ki Sung is a millennial career strategist who uses her experience as a successful young careerist, who previously worked at the top global brands, to help people manage their careers to help them stay on track.