Ask InstaViser: What tips do you have on selecting a mentor and setting up the first call?
At InstaViser, we’ve found that first outreach can be the hardest step in building a relationship with a new mentor. A good starting point for selecting a mentor is to find something in common. Most of our mentors have listed a short biography as well as a list of key topics they are particularly interested so you have a little context for what they like to talk about and this can help you build your initial list of mentors.
Next, you need to start talking to mentors. On InstaViser's platform, mentors have already indicated that they are interested in being a mentor so it’s a lot easier than cold-emailing someone in your industry or network. To set up your first meeting, it’s helpful to mention your common interest/topic in your initial outreach as this helps the mentor know what you would like to talk about. Your first meeting will be mainly to get to know each other and get a few of your questions answered.
After your call, it’s helpful to jot down a few notes about what you talked about, like a few key takeaways that you want to remember later. If you feel like you’d like to talk more with the first mentor you had a call will, send them a follow-up note thanking them for their time and setting a date for a second call. If not, it is still nice to send a note and then begin the process again to choose a new mentor.
Every mentee and mentor has different needs so you might be interested in looking for a long-term relationship with one mentor or you’re interested in learning from a variety. We encourage you to explore which model works best for you.
If you have any questions about mentorship or how to use the InstaViser network, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and your question could be featured in our next “Ask InstaViser” post.