Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Mentor.

The Venture Center is dedicated to helping professionals in all stages of their careers grow. As we have already kicked off the 2019 Mentorship program, and are hearing great feedback from those who were accepted this year, we thought we’d share some of the top questions that we’ve heard have been most helpful. Although you might not be participating this year, we highly encourage finding mentors for your professional and personal growth. Here are a few questions we’ve borrowed from Forbes that our mentees have found helpful when meeting with theirs in four categories; career stories, situations, self-awareness and skill-builder.

Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Mentor.

  1. Career Stories: Was there ever a role you applied for and landed, but weren't 100% qualified to do? How did you proceed?

  2. Career Stories: Can you tell me about a time when you had a difficult boss? How did you handle the situation?

  3. Situations: Who are the people I need to align with in this organization to achieve success?

  4. Situations: How can I stay connected to key influencers who do not work in same office or geographical area?

  5. Situations: I'm considering a career transition. What are some other areas of the business that might be a good fit for me?

  6. Self-Awareness: What do you see as some of my blind spots and how can I improve?

  7. Self-Awareness: Do I come across as strategic or tactical in my day-to-day communication?

  8. Skill-Builder: How can I become better at managing people who do not report to me?

  9. Skill-Builder: Can you recommend a book or resource for dealing with difficult conversations?

  10. Skill-Builder: Do you have a template that you use for long-range visioning and strategic planning?

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 What is the biggest lesson that your mentor has taught you so far in the program? 

Jerry told me: "You cannot build upon what you do not already have a foundation for." I tend to beat myself up for not being great at things right off the bat. He’s really met me where I’m at and has helped me not only find a great starting place, but has helped me set goals for where I want to go.

What skills has your mentor helped you see in yourself? 

My mentor, Jerry, has made me so much more confident and comfortable in my sales abilities. I sometimes know what I need to be doing but have mostly struggled with the confidence to actually do it. Jerry helps me write scripts for sales calls, role plays conversations with me and gives me great feedback. He ends the meeting by building my confidence, reassuring me that I have what it takes, and asks that I bring him a full report back to our next meeting with my successes. The confidence has been a game-changer!

What were you looking for when choosing a mentor? 

I felt like my "list" going into the program was almost too long and too broad; I needed help in communication, sales, transitioning into a new position at work, and leadership. The mentors in the program are all so knowledgeable in their industries, I imagined I'd end up matching with someone in marketing, like myself. When I met Jerry, he described his work as offering training programs in communication, sales, transitions, and leadership. Exactly what I was looking for! 

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