Being a Connector of a Mentor
One of the jobs of a mentor is that of being a connector. A connector helps create introductions for those you are mentoring. There is a well-known phrase that it’s not what you know, but who you know. There is a lot of validity to this statement.
How can you help your advisee build on your connections? Here are some examples:
- Teach your advisee to use LinkedIn to identify persons to connect to. Show him/her how to identify people you are connected to. Then show them how to write a personalized connection invitation.
- Introduce your advisee to classmates. You might want to do this at a social event.
- Help your advisee join professional societies that might be of interest.
- Show your advisee how to follow up with introductions you make. This can be especially important for those who tend to be shy.
- Teach your advisee how to negotiate the “introduction phase” of a career fair.
One of the joys of being a mentor is seeing connections you help develop lead to positive things for those you are guiding. Ultimately these connections can benefit you as well. At some point, those who you guide will help you make connections as well.