Minority Professional Staff

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Tips for potential minority professional mentees:


Enthusiastic protégés have a tendency to express desire for knowledge, utmost discipline and self-respect. Consider the following questions to determine your readiness for a mentor:

  • Am I enthusiastic to be taught and liberated to new ideas or concepts?
  • Am I a team player who can interact well with other people?
  • Am I a risk taker who is not afraid to go beyond the boundaries of safety and venture into uncertainties to learn?
  • Am I patient enough to realize that an ambition in life cannot be acquired overnight?
  • Do I display a positive attitude, even in the midst of a crisis?
  • Do I demonstrate inventiveness and resourcefulness in any task assigned?
  • Do I accept feedback, negative or positive, about behavior and skills, with an intention to improve and learn from it?

Kym Ward Gaffney, national director of coaching at professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, advises protégés to talk to others about their potential mentor choice and find out what impact that person has had on other protégés’ careers, as well as getting feedback on what the person was like as a mentor.

After you have determined that you’re ready, consider the following questions before deciding on a mentor:

  • Would the mentor provide me with good and accurate information?
  • Would mentor support me in reaching my goals and objectives?
  • Would mentor respect my dreams, my decisions and my goal in life?
  • Would mentor challenge me when it is necessary?
  • Can the mentor actually be trusted?
  • Am I willing to listen to this mentor's ideas and suggestions?

Asking these questions before you commit to a mentoring program is essential for you to reap the best possible benefit. It is also important to have a clear communication line between you and the mentor. Even at the start of the mentoring program, you already need to specify your expectations and your goals so that the mentor will know which direction to take.

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