An inspiring growth opportunity for both mentee and mentor

Everyone knows that iMentor students meet with their mentors once a month, usually at the students’ high schools. But not everyone realizes that we encourage mentors to meet with their mentees outside of our program as well. In particular, we encourage students to visit their mentors at work—this can be an eye-opening experience for students, but it’s also a growth opportunity for mentors. In fact, two mentors recently became workplace leaders after visits from their mentees.

10th Grade Pair

When they were first matched, mentee Daniella and mentor Amber realized that they shared many similar interests. Daniella was fascinated with fashion and design, and that just happened to be Amber’s industry. Their persistent conversations regarding interest and career opportunities inspired Amber to reach out to her boss and HR Director to set-up a new summer internship for her mentee. “Daniella was very inquisitive about what I did,” remarked Amber, “I knew that setting up an internship opportunity would not only look great on her resume, but also hopefully inspire her to see that she too could have an exciting and creative career in the future.”

Daniella started her internship the summer after her freshman year. During the first few weeks, she shadowed Amber to gain a better understanding of her role and how it fit into the team structure. Daniella was enthusiastic and asked a lot of questions; she caught on very quickly. From there, she participated in interactive projects, such as merchandising moves, window changes, showroom build outs, and special events. Daniella truly became integrated in the team over the course of the summer.

Daniella experienced a lot of firsts that summer, but so did Amber and her team at work. It was the first time that Amber’s team had an intern, and now they intend on hiring a new intern each summer. What started as opportunity for her mentee turned into a leadership opportunity for Amber. She reshaped the structure of her team and left a lasting impact not only on her mentee’s career, but her own as well.

11th Grade Pair

Katherine was the first sophomore in her school to visit her mentor, Christine, at work. During her visit, Katherine shadowed Christine and got a glimpse of her day-to-day activities. She was also able to walk around and meet with Christine’s colleagues. “She was so poised meeting all my teammates,” smiled Christine, “she was also super inquisitive and chatted with everyone on my team.” At the end of the visit, Katherine reflected on her day; She loved the experience of seeing her mentor at work, interacting with other adults, and learning what it’s like to work in a professional setting.

Christine felt an undeniable sense of pride when she introduced Katherine to her coworkers. The experience made her realize how invested she was in iMentor, and how rewarding it was. Not only that, but because of Katherine’s visit, two of Christine's colleagues were inspired to join iMentor as well! It just goes to show that you never know what will happen when you invite your mentee to shadow you at work. Christine thought her mentee would learn what it was like to work in an office—she didn’t expect her coworkers to learn something new as well.

Christine and Amber both capitalized on opportunities that all mentors in our program can take advantage of. They intended on teaching their mentees about office environments and then stood out as leaders in the process. If you’d like the opportunity to show your mentee your office, reach out to your Program Manager to discuss next steps.