Frequently Asked Questions for Mentors
Why should I become a mentor?
Participating in a mentorship program has benefits to both mentees and mentors. As a mentor you will have the opportunity to:
Share valuable knowledge based on your own experience
Develop your coaching, communication and leadership skills
Work with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
Improve your understanding of issues and barriers experienced by people who want to
further grow their skills
Motivate and support someone to fulfill their potential
Help someone in the field of product management put their skills and experience to work
What is the criteria to become a mentor?
To become a mentor, you need to match the below requirements:
Must be at least 25 years old
Reside in the Netherlands and are willing to travel to Amsterdam area
Must have experience at least three years in a product role
Must possess the following skills: listening, advocacy, teaching, and sharing
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
Must complete the online application
What do I talk about with my mentee?
A mentee looks up to their mentor and is the go-to-person when looking for advice. As an outcome, there’s not a limited set of responsibilities, but the mentorship sessions are tailored to the needs of the mentee. However, there’s a few elements we suggest you focus on, especially during the first few sessions. It’s always good to provide details about your professional background, your interests and hobbies, so that the mentee can relate to you and find the elements they would like to focus on during your mentorship relationship.
Working with your mentee to determine objectives and set goals related to job search, networking, professional development etc. is an important part of the process which will allow you both evaluate your mentorship relationship at the end of the engagement. If you need support for referral to resources, troubleshooting etc. you can always reach out to The Product Lab team.
How will I know if I’m doing a good job?
Any good relationship is built on open communication. Throughout the mentoring relationship you should be speaking to your mentee about whether or not you are fulfilling the joint goals that you both set out at the beginning. The Product Lab team will also ask you to provide feedback on your progress and experience throughout your engagements with the mentee. If you are helping your mentee make progress and you see them evolving, then this is an indication your relationship is successful.
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.
Where do I interact with my mentee?
It’s between you and your mentee 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 mentee?
As happens with all types of relationship, there can be a situation where you may not get along with your mentee. 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 mentee aren’t right for each other, then we will end the mentoring relationship early and will match you with another mentee.
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.