How to become a Mentor or Mentee

Executive Mentor with The Capital Region Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network, YPN since 2020 logo
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Looking for Mentorship in your career or in life? Want to become a mentor or a mentee? Interested in joining a mentorship program? Keep reading to get tips from an experienced Mentor and learn about how to find a mentorship program near you.

January is NATIONAL MENTORING MONTH aka #NationalMentoringMonth

In the article to follow we are sharing our experience with different mentorship programs. You may not realize it, but you could be a mentor or mentee for someone. Curious?

Quote for a Mentor or Mentee from Ben Franklin : "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn." Ben Franklin
We love Ben Franklin quotes.

Yep, I said it. Anyone can become a mentor or a mentee.

Both Mentors & Mentees are people to admire and respect. Mentees and Mentors both have experiences in life and careers that can be shared and benefit others. I have participated in quite a few different mentoring programs, and know that when done right, the mentor/mentee relationship can be a mutually beneficial learning experience.

That’s right. I said it. I’ll say it again for the people in the back.

The Mentor AND the Mentee can BOTH learn from the other’s experiences, in career and life.

I have been involved with two different types of mentoring programs, one focuses on Career mentorship and the second is personal/community mentorship. As a participant in both types of programs, the personal mentorship was community based and structured like a “Big Brother or Big Sister” program. In this program I loved to plan visits museums, and parks and try new activities or explore new neighborhoods with my mentee/s. Many things I took for granted as an adult, were new to my youth/community mentees. Along with our discussions, I learned that they found our outings an adventure in ways I could never have predicted.

Mentors were enlisted to share experiences and interests with pre-teen/teenager youth. The idea is to have them experience new things in the “world” outside their bubble of teenage existence. It can be incredible to just talk about the new experience and realize how excited, nervous, or (insert other emotion) you both are, because you are experiencing or learning something new.

Lessons from a mentEE

Although mentoring programs usually will have a focus on one aspect Professional or Personal, many times, in each program there will be crossover between professional and personal conversations.

We think that is how Michelle Obama probably leans into her mentoring, so we do too. We believe mentors and mentees should be fine with sharing both professional and personal stories with each other.

For this article, we are focusing on helping you explore where to find a professional mentoring program. We have been participating with the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, as a volunteer mentor. The program is called the Young Professionals Network, Executive Mentorship Program. The new program kicks off every January. You can learn more about the Capital Region Chamber programs and apply on the chamber website.

Why am I a mentor?

1) I wish I had an executive mentor when I was starting my career and learning the advertising & communications business.

2) Volunteering as a #mentor is a great way to share, learn and grow.

Executive Mentor with The Capital Region Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network, YPN since 2020 logo Mentor, Mentee, Mentorship, Mentoring
Executive Mentor with The Capital Region Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network, YPN since 2020

I feel a great affinity to the topic of mentoring. I can tell you that some of my deepest and most trusted relationships were formed in these types of connections. Some came in formal programs, while many were informal links & relationships that developed organically.

Where do you start with a Mentorship?

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Arthur Ashe. great tip on Mentoring, becoming a mentor, mentee or joining a mentorship program.
Arthur Ashe was a mentor and role model for many people. Including this author.

Tips for finding a mentoring program near you…

  • Look up programs with your local Chamber of Commerce
  • Ask a librarian at your local library
  • Check with your Alumni office to see if your College or University offers a program
  • Talk to your manager or HR manager at work

Not interested in participating in an actual Mentoring program… or do you want something less formal?

  • Find someone you know and admire and ask them if they would be willing to have coffee with you and chat about their career path
  • if this works for you, you can plan to do this once a quarter with different people

Those who know me, know I love to #Learn I especially enjoy hearing from different people about how the ended up with the career/role they have. I find it fascinating to ask questions and learn about people, here are some good starter questions for a mentor/mentee relationship.

  • How does your family life and growing up with parents/siblings/others influence your career path?
  • Tell me about different career experiences, what was your first job? what did you Love (and hate) about it?
  • How has your education, sports, family, role models, and/or other interactions led you to work roles and careers?
  • How did you get started with this career and how did you end up here?

Want to learn more? We have more Mentor/Mentee resources you can Read, Listen to, and watch…

Below are some of the podcasts I have really enjoyed that might inspire you.

We agree with Adam Grant and believe that every office needs a “no a$$hole rule”

Take a listen to WorkLife with Adam Grant, where ever you listen to podcasts.

Still interested in learning more?

You don’t always need to read or listen…perhaps you will enjoy watching and learning from the Rohit Bhargava of Non-Obvious Nation, and the Beyond Diversity Summit, use the QR codes to get to each seminar, or if you want to browse all of the offerings from the summit, you can check it out with the link below:

We’ve got a few more posts you may enjoy! During the beginning of 2020 we hired our (at the time) 14 year old nephew as an #intern.

#TheIntern wrote two blog posts when he was interning for us. One was about skimping on sleep to “making bank” and the other was how it was to be a teenager during “tough times, like a global pandemic”

Because of the success of #TheIntern we ended up hiring #NewIntern a 10 year old cousin of #theIntern who shared his thoughts on “SharkWeek” and #DishWashing in his blog post.

#LEARN #Laugh #Teach #Dream #Albany #NYCapitalRegion

#happyentreprenuer #advertisinglife #personalbranding #authenticity

About Me

Kirsten has been a landscaper, a lifeguard and a liquor store clerk. An entrepreneur at heart, her early paychecks came from various roles, including babysitter, pachysandra broker, pet-sitter, cashier, receptionist and office clerk. After almost 30 years living/working in NYC, in 2019 Voege moved to the 518. The 518 is the Capital Region of NY state, and includes Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Saratoga counties. The Nielsen DMA is Albany-Schenectady-Troy (#57) with a population of more than 1.2MM people. (IYKYK)


The consultancy Kirated Communications provides strategic marketing and business consulting. Since its founding, Kirated has been working with companies in the real estate, financial services, technology, entertainment, SaaS, healthcare and auto industries. Founded by Kirsten Voege who has led marketing & media for many well known consumer brands, including, Amazon, American Express, Anthem, Bacardi, Eli Lilly, Intuit, J&J, L’Oreal, Merck, Match, Nordic Track, Quicken Loans, Verizon and Zillow.

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Published by KIRSTEN