One of the mentees in my Dietrich College Career Mentoring Program emailed me to ask what he could do to get the most out of this 15 week experience. He’s a student in the humanities with an additional degree in art, but I believe my reply works for other fields:
- Show up. Not just physically, but mentally, to every interaction. Come with goals, come with questions, come with ideas.
- Follow up. If your mentor gives you a contact, send the email that day. If someone helps you, send a thank you email. So few people in the world truly follow-up, you’ll be outstanding if you do.
- Read up. My grandmother is a working artist and was a professor of art for 30 years, so I say from stolen memory that constantly researching your field, your colleagues, and your competitors is the name of the game for an artist who wants to get paid. Get in the habit of reading the blogs of other art students, reading the reviews of your professors’ shows, writing your own reviews on your own blog or tumblr or twitter account or for the Tartan or the Cut. [Both CMU student publications]
Anyone with more experience as a mentor or mentee have anything to add?
“Remember, if you’re headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns!”–Allison Gappa Bottke