Frequently asked questions for Mentees

FAQs for Mentees

 

What should I look for in a mentor? 

 

A mentor is there to guide you through your decisions, but also help you grow further as a person. When looking for a mentor it is important to think about what you are hoping to gain from your mentorship relationship and identify the qualities that would be of help for you to find in a mentor. Your mentor should be someone that you trust and can turn to for advice and support. Some things that may be of help for you to consider is their academic, personal and/or professional experiences; hobbies or interests; and aspects of their identity that may help you better relate to that person such as race, culture, gender or other characteristics that are important to you. 

 

What is the criteria to become a mentee? 

 

  • Be at least 18 years old

  • Reside in the Netherlands and are willing to travel to Amsterdam area

  • Willing to commit to at least one hour biweekly for the mentorship sessions

  • Willing to communicate openly with The Product Lab organizers on any matter, questions or issues that may arise

  • Willing to attend the kick off session, pulse check and, closing events on the dates communicated and published by The Product Lab

  • A general will to learn more and be better at what you do

  • A wish to progress your career

  • Understand specific areas of work that are different from your own

  • Must complete the online application

 

What does it mean to be a mentee?

 

As a mentee, it is very important to be open to learning! Have an open mind and be prepared to engage in your mentoring relationship by sharing your thoughts, asking questions, and actively listening to your mentor’s responses and advice. If you have ideas in your approach to learning, don’t shy away from sharing those with your mentor. Job shadowing, attending talks or workshops together may be activities that will help you and therefore it never hurts to ask your mentor if they would be open to participating or helping you out. Always keep in mind that your mentor also benefits from your interactions as you help them further shape their leadership and coaching skills. 

 

What is the time commitment? 

 

The time commitment varies for your mentorship relationship varies. As with many other commitments, you will get out of your interactions what you put into those! The more often you connect with your mentor (while being respectful of their time availability and commitments) the more you will gain and learn from your relationship with them. 

 

What do I talk about with my mentor?

 

It may be uncomfortable or unnatural to converse with your mentor in the beginning. No worries, it’s always like that when you meet people for the first times! Always keep in mind that your mentor is there, willing to support and guide you in any way that they can!

Start by getting to know each other; talk about yourselves, your goals, shared interests and experiences. Identify those elements you have in common and expertise that can help you grow further. Then, depending on what you hope to gain from your mentorship, you may ask for advice how to navigate a certain situation, help with networking, support or information on how to develop a new skill or strengthen existing ones, or just hear stories about the journey they have been through and how they got to where they are now. 


 

Where do I interact with my mentor? 

It’s between you and your mentor to decide the best way to have your mentorship sessions. Even if that is remotely, or meeting in a physical location, it is important to find a way that works for both of you, which will allow you get the best out of your interactions. However, we strongly recommend meeting in person, especially for the first few meetings. 

 

What happens if I don’t get along with my mentor? 

 

As happens with all types of relationship, there can be a situation where you may not get along with your mentor. It is normal. If you find yourself in such a situation, then get in touch with The Product Lab and we will work with you to resolve the issues. If you and your mentor aren’t right for each other, then we will end the mentoring relationship early and will match you with another mentor. 

 

What if I know someone I’d like to be matched with?

 

The Product Lab has carefully designed the matching process based on several criteria. You are welcome to share with the mentorship team the person you’d like to be matched with, however we cannot guarantee the match as it depends on the group of applicants as a whole and the ration of Mentors-to-Mentees available.