When I First Met My Mentor

This blog was cowritten by two of our Student Advisory Council members, Shaima and Mouhamadou! Shaima and Mouhamadou have been working with iMentor's communications team all semester long to gain marketing and writing experience. We're proud to share their work here!

The first time a student meets his or her mentor can be such an exciting start to a completely new relationship. Every one of our mentors and every one of our students are individuals, so no two experiences are exactly the same. It can be nerve-wracking for some; others are more confident and jump straight in, getting to know each other. We talked with students from iMentor NYC schools to learn what it was like when they first met their mentor.

iMentor: What was the first impression you had of your mentor?
Seth: Gill seemed like a really cool person. Although not too old, I could tell he still had some of his personal lifestyle from his teenage years. It made me more comfortable to talk to him.
Hushen: My first impression was really good. My mentor was very friendly. She was very excited and smiley, and it was great to get to know her that first day.
Alejandro: I thought that he was a very interesting person. He was extremely invested in the Computer Science industry and he intrigued me to do more in that area.
Maham: I was so happy to know that she was Indian too. It was like my dream come true to have a mentor like me.

iMentor: Did they look like the person you expected to see?
Luis: No, because I thought he would be from my country!
Naze: Yes, I thought she would look like a really cool person, and she was.
Seth: From what I remember, yes. He was relatively young, but dressed maturely, but still had a bit of a laid back attitude.
Maria: I honestly didn't expect much, I tried to be open minded as to who they would be.
Alejandro: I really didn't know what to expect!

iMentor: Did they have the job you were expecting?
Maria: They did not, I thought she would work in Graphic Design, but she actually works in a bank and that's still cool to learn about.
Shaima: No, at the beginning I thought we would be matched with someone who works in the major we want to study, which for me is medicine. But my mentor is an economic consultant.
Shao: Yes he works in real estate, and he gets to travel around the world to meet with different clients!
Seth: He did not, I was expecting something along the lines of software engineering, but he works in real estate.

iMentor: What was the most interesting thing you learned or did together that first day?
Naur: It was very interesting learning about how similar we are, even though we grew up very differently.
Maham: She gave me such good advice. One thing she told me that day was "Believe in yourself, you have within you the whole universe."
Seth: He owns a pair of Snapchat goggles!
Maria: It was interesting to learn that even though we were different, we had a lot in common.

iMentor: If you can remember, what was the very first thing you said to your mentor?
Seth: "Hi, I'm Seth."
Hushen: I think I told her that I really liked her eyes.
Maham: We spoke Hindi together at that first event, but she said that from then on out, we have to communicate in English with each other.
Naze: We talked about the things we liked and what our hobbies are and what we like to do in our free time.

iMentor: Did you think you were more similar or different at first? And now?
Seth: At first, I thought we were pretty different. We are similar in some ways, but not as much as I would expect. I still think it is the same. We have noticed a bit more similarity over the years...
Naur: At first, I thought that we were really different. Now I kind of think that we are similar, knowing that we have similar interests and other things in common. That first meeting was very nice, and we had so much fun getting to know each other!
Maria: I thought we were very different at first. I still think that, but our mindsets are alike and I enjoy that we can agree a lot and share different opinions.
Alejandro: We were pretty different. He had a lot of different interests, but he was also interested in getting to know more about the interests and activities that I like. I think we're still pretty different, but I don't mind. Meeting people different from myself is always fun because you're introduced to new ideas and find new interests that you would've never found otherwise.
Hushen: We were similar because on that first day I asked her what her interest were and what she likes to do. And they was very similar to me! I still think that, because as long as I've gotten to know her, we're still very similar and have all the same interests.

iMentor: If there was one thing you could change about that day, what would it be?
Alejandro: Nothing. It was natural, that's how every interaction with my mentor should be. Natural.
Angelina: I would talk a little more. I was too shy to tell her all about myself right away.
Hushen: I wouldn't change anything about that day because everything was perfect. My mentor was there right on time and we got to know each other. I was very happy.
Naur: I wouldn't change anything. I honestly think that our meeting was very nice and we had so much fun getting to know each other.
Naze: I wish I had brought an extra snack.

When students first enter the iMentor program, it is an opportunity to meet a new people with different types of experiences. Everyone has different expectations; it's a new experience for both mentees and mentors. It's important for both parties to understand that this is only the beginning. The start to any relationship can be rocky or awkward at times, but when you look at how far they come, all the awkwardness is worth it in the end!