This is primarily a resource for Magnify Mentoring mentees. We made it public in case it helps other mentorship/community building programs. If you have any questions please reach out to Kathryn Mecrow-Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are some tips we gathered from former and current Magnify Mentoring mentees.
1. Reflect on your goals prior to each mentoring session
There are concrete advantages to thinking purposefully about what you hope to gain from each session in advance. It is much easier for your mentor to effectively support you if you have a sense of what you would find most useful. It also helps both parties track their progress during the program.
We have produced a breakdown of suggested topics for each session in the Magnify Mentoring Guidance Sheets which can be referenced in advance of each meeting. For resources on how to set effective goals see our blog post: We asked our community what resources they would recommend. Here's what they said. The OKR Section is particularly focused on goal-setting. We also recommend considering between each session both short- and long-term goals that you hope to achieve. For example, if one goal for the mentorship is to build the skills needed to secure a promotion at work, your short-term goals between sessions may include reading a particular book on leadership that your mentor recommends, practicing asking for what you want in smaller-stake scenarios, or arranging conversations with other managers your mentor knows in their network. Magnify staff are also happy to help you plan sessions with your mentor. If you would like help in advance of your mentorship sessions, please use us as a resource.
2. Be proactive in contacting your mentor and tell Magnify if the situation changes
Reach out when it is time for a session and then follow-up. Don’t be shy. Mentors typically appreciate a proactive approach.Try to make the logistics easy for your mentor for your meeting and for communication between sessions.
If you are unable to contact your mentor, reach out to the Magnify Mentoring team. Magnify has many incredible mentors who are happy to help, however they are often busy or distracted with competing priorities. Sometimes this means circumstances change after they sign up to mentor. While we cannot guarantee we will be able to rematch a mentee, we often can. Additionally, if you and your mentor decide to stop meeting–for example, because a one-off call has answered your questions–, please let us know. This allows us to monitor our impact and ensures we can rematch you or the mentor as appropriate to best make use of everyone’s time.
3. Connect with other people in the Magnify community
Everyone in the Magnify Mentoring network is here because they are kind, want to help, and are excited about cultivating talent. These are essential features of mentors that we look for in deciding who we welcome to our network. Use the Magnify Mentoring Slack, particularly the introductions page, to identify people who you would like to meet with and get in touch. You can additionally email the Magnify team asking for suggestions for people to meet with. There is also huge value to be unlocked by forging and deepening existing peer-to-peer connections. For example, some of our previous mentees have had great success supporting one another in job searches or coming together to share and read particular resources. Please don’t be shy to reach out to anyone who you feel could be useful to talk to. Additionally, please do your best to attend Magnify events if they help you fulfill your goals or allow you to help others!
4. If you are looking for work, please flag it to our team
We have a Magnify Mentoring Job Candidate Database. The database is password protected and shared only with trusted recruiters. If you are looking for work and would like to be featured on the database please complete this form. Please be sure to indicate on the form if there are any sensitivities around your application, for example, if your employer does not know you are looking for work. In addition, please get in touch with our team. We are currently planning on rolling out new services for job-seeking members, including a peer-to-peer meet-up and we always love to hear from you!
5. If there is something you need and aren’t getting, please tell us before the end of the program
Often barriers are small and easily fixable but create outsized problems or losses of potential. We can often fix them if you tell us they exist. Some last round examples: you can’t afford the application for college, you can’t afford the plane ticket to attend a work trial, English is your second language and you are struggling with your college application, you are too nervous to apply to OpenPhil for funding without support, proof-readers, and pep talkers. Please tell us; we have a very big network and we will try to find you the support you need. The same very much applies to your mentoring; if there are issues, it is much better for us to know as soon as possible.
Your mentor isn’t likely to face all the same challenges you may face, but they may have adjacent experiences or know others who do! If you’re facing a particular hurdle and don’t know if your mentor has experience with it, please do bring it up to them or the Magnify team. For example, you may wish for more opportunities for professional chats in your native language or other languages. If you raise the request for support, we may be able to refer you to resources now or note the need and seek additional resources for the future.
6. Fill out your exit forms and tell us if we helped you
Okay, this is less of a tip than a request for how to add value to the program and “pay it forward.” These exit forms are a core component of how we shape our programming and demonstrate impact to potential mentors and funders. Your exit forms help us to continue and improve our work.