Sometimes totally unstructured conversations with someone you’ve only just met can be a bit, well, daunting. So we’ve put together a few pointers to help ensure that any time you have a mentor session, the conversation is productive, efficient, and fun!

Recommended session flow

Laying out the overall flow of a mentor session right when it begins is a great way to stay on track and make sure you cover everything you want to discuss.

  1. Introductions – spend a minute or two introducing yourself and giving your mentor a bit more context around where you are in your learning process and what you’re trying to achieve (e.g. change industries, become a freelancer, learn Photoshop, etc.). Your mentor will do the same to help you better understand who they are.
  2. Your session goals – take a minute reviewing exactly what you want to get out of the session. What is your primary goal? The time can go quickly, so work out a quick plan to make sure you get to cover everything.
  3. Go go go! – you’ve got questions, so ask them! The majority of your session should be spent diving into the details and getting answers to everything you want to ask.
  4. 5 minute heads up – your mentor should let you know when there’s about 5 minutes left, so you can wrap up the conversation and chat about next steps.
  5. Quick summary – your mentor will review their main takeaways from the session and discuss next steps.

After the session, your mentor should follow up with some of the main takeaways and notes they gathered from the session. They’ll also recommend a project for you to work on next. We know that feedback on your progress is crucial to progressing in your field, so within 1 month of your session, you can send the project to your mentor and they’ll give you a free round of email feedback!

General advice

  1. When we send the intro email to you and your mentor, be sure to send over a final list of questions or work you want to review, especially if you’ve added anything since you first booked your session.
  2. Be sure to have all your questions written down and handy during the session.
  3. Be very specific with your questions and frame everything around your end goals.
  4. If you’re planning to ask both technical and qualitative questions, be sure to devote a specific amount of time to each to ensure you cover everything (technical questions tend to take longer than you’re expecting, especially if you’re sharing screens and working in specific software).

 

Advice for specific goals

  • Technical Questions
    1. Have the software / files you want to review pulled up on your computer before the session
    2. If you’re hoping for your mentor to show you how to do a new technique, let them know in the intro email thread so they can have the relevant software pulled up in advance of the session
    3. Be realistic about how much you want to cover in a single session. Have a few specific techniques or tools you want to learn about, as well as a few additional questions in case you cover those quickly
  • Critique of your work
    1. In the intro email thread, be sure to send all of the work you want to review and include specific questions or elements you want critiqued
    2. Be open to constructive criticism. All of our mentors want to help you improve, so if you disagree with a specific piece of feedback, let them know why you disagree and why you chose to do something a specific way
  • Freelancing tips
    • Be clear about your goals and what you’re hoping to learn. A few main areas people usually focus on:
      • How to get freelancing work + build your client list
      • How to live as a freelancer + tips for being productive
      • Dealing with freelancing contracts + client relationships + project scope
  • Industry guidance
    • Structure the session around your specific goals. Do you want to understand how a specific industry is structured, get tips on breaking into a new industry, or just get a sense of what skills you need to learn to maximize your chances of getting a job in a new industry?
  • Concept fundamentals
    • If you’re just starting your creative journey, focusing your session on understanding the fundamentals of a specific field can be incredibly valuable. In the intro email thread, be open with your mentor about why you want to learn this skill, what your background is, and how they can help. These sessions are intended to help you understand the main principles of a field and help you structure your upcoming creative journey as much as possible.

If you have any other questions about mentor sessions, finding a mentor, or anything else, reach out to us at hello@rookieup.com anytime!

 

Find the perfect mentor to help you accomplish your goals, whatever they may be!

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