Monday, January 09, 2012

Why Is This So Difficult?

Three suggestions about things you never say, or always say, or should say, to a potential mentor.

This week...THIS WEEK... I have gotten messages or had phone conversations that violated all three.

In particular, I suggested we meet at 10 am. Two different people wanting advice said, "No, that's too early for me. Can we do it some other time?"

Sure, we can do it during that time when I otherwise would have been writing you a pretty good letter of recommendation. Because now it is NOT going to be a good letter of recommendation.

Just read this. The guy has it right. And hopefully you are angling for being mentored by somebody WAY better than I am anyway, so it will actually matter!


Seth said...

Excellent advice. I especially like this bit: "Because, if someone seeking a mentor is not willing to pay the price of getting up a little early, chances are they wouldn’t have acted on his advice anyway."

Robert S. Porter said...

So...what you're saying is that only your schedule is important?

Mungowitz said...

Well, no. I'm saying that a person important enough to be a useful mentor has a schedule that is important.

Me? Meh, I have no value as a mentor, or anything else. So sure, I could meet anytime. But why would anyone want to?

Robert S. Porter said...

Well OK.

I mean if the mentor is truly busy compared to the other then it's absolutely true, but in general it seems that if alternate times can be arranged then I don't see why it would hurt to inquire about them.

Anonymous said...

I'm just responding to this now because I was too tired to read it earlier. I mean, I had my one class today, then went to the gym, and had to take a nap before dinner. Tomorrow is my "hard" day where I have two classes in the morning- back to back! - starting at 11. So please change your office hours to the afternoon, it would make life a LOT easier!