First, what is a mentor? It’s a person who guides a friend, peer, co-worker, etc. by building trust and modeling positive behaviors. An effective mentor understands that his or her role is to inspire, challenge and support the needs of the mentee. Being a mentor is a commitment to not only your mentee, it’s a commitment to you and your own personal growth
But really, what’s in it for me? Being a mentor can:
- Improve communication skills
- Improve your listening skills
- Help to see things from a different viewpoint
- Develop leadership and management qualities
- Increase your confidence and motivation
- Engage in a volunteering opportunity, which is valued by employers
Communicating effectively can help you be more productive and build strong and positive relationships that will help you be successful. As a mentor, you can ask your mentee for feedback on your communication style to see if it is working. Open and honest feedback is a gift and something we all should be asking more of ourselves.
Listening is tougher that you think! Most of us listen to respond instead of listening to understand. To be a good listener, pay attention to their tone and body language; don’t interrupt them; paraphrase what they said so they know you heard them and then respond to what they said, honestly and respectfully. This will take a lot of practice!
When we are open to seeing things from another person’s viewpoint, it helps you to understand things you might not have considered. It can also help you be more empathic while still holding your mentee accountable.
Mentoring can help you sharpen your perspective and practice expressing it with your mentees. It can also help you be more self-aware and this is where feedback is so important for your growth. The more you can practice giving feedback, it can push you to a higher level of understanding and communication.
Mentors are positive people, in general. It takes a positive person to help mentees learn, grow and be successful. You can relate to your mentee – you’ve experienced their ups and downs and by helping your mentee through a tough spot, it helps reinforce and increase your confidence and motivation to continue to be a successful mentor!
Employers really value mentoring because it and increases and sharpens leadership skill-sets. It shows your leadership team your readiness to take on more responsibilities too!
Deep Dive has just started a volunteer mentoring program called Alumni Mentors. Below are some testimonials from a few of our Alumni Mentors:
“Being an Alumni Mentor has been such a great experience and a great way for me to give back to Deep Dive Coding – the community that has been the catalyst for my career change to tech. No only is it a great way to stay connected the DDC community, but it also allows me to draw from my own experiences as a student to help current bootcampers succeed. Women are still unrepresented in tech (I was one of two in my cohort) and I strive to be a role model/mentor for other women who want to break into the tech space.”
“The Alumni Mentor program was a lot of fun and super beneficial to me. It helped me realize I knew and retained more than I thought, as part of the motivation for joining was to refresh on some concepts I had previously learned. The student seemed to really benefit from our presence as well, having someone next to you that has been through what you are currently experiencing can mean a world of difference. I very much enjoyed participating and can’t want for the next one!”
“Taking Deep Dive Coding Fullstack Bootcamp opened so many doors in my life. As an Alumni Mentor, I hope that I can help mentor others as they open new doors too. I often learn as much from them as they do from me. It has been an enjoyable experience and has helped me develop leadership skills as well. Aside from that, it just feels good to give back to such an incredible community!”
“I had an amazing time volunteering hours as an Alumni Mentor for the bootcamp. Volunteering time is such a great way to grow the community, as well as develop skills in team leadership, a must in the tech world. Beyond the opportunity to contribute to the bootcamp, you also have the opportunity to relearn bootcamp material, for free, updated and relevant for today’s industry.”
If you are interested in becoming an Alumni Mentor, please contact Sue Andres, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. You won’t regret it!