Monday, January 11, 2010

Staging the 1st Meeting: Tips for Mentors and Mentees by Vicky Sullivan

With only a few weeks until the Kick-Off Breakfast on February 2nd at Yahoo!, all newly matched mentors and mentees should have contacted each other and sent an RSVP to the AWNY office via email in regards to the breakfast. The idea is for mentors and mentees to have met prior to the kick-off event. This first meeting can be both exciting and nerve-racking. Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of this preliminary encounter:

  1. Be Professional: Though this is a mostly casual get-together, you are still meeting with someone in your industry so it is still a semi-professional meeting.
  2. Meet Half Way: Meeting at a place that serves food or coffee is always a great icebreaker. Starbucks is a good option and there is one on almost every street corner in the city. If lunchtime is convenient, meet for lunch. However, with the craziness and unpredictability of the New York workday, meeting before or after work might be a better option. Try meeting at a central location; somewhere in between where you both work. If you do not have time to meet set aside time to speak over the phone.
  3. Prepare: Before you even contact your mentor or mentee ask yourself what you are looking to get out of this. What would you like to achieve during your time together.
  4. Make a Connection: As far as conversation goes, have fun. Though it may be helpful to talk about job-related topics, making a personal connection is what this meeting is really about. However, make sure you think of a few conversation starters before you arrive at your first meeting. Simple questions such as:
    - What made you want to join AWNY?
    - Where did you go to school?
    - Tell me more about what you do.
  5. Set Goals: The mentor and mentee are both at different stages in their career. Each should look to and make the other aware of how they plan to use this program to further their career.

    Good luck and don’t forget to Learn Share Grow.

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