SHAN’S REVERSE MENTORSHIP JOURNEY
As a young master’s graduate of 27, I find myself disconnected from high-level leadership in large corporations. What are they like? What do they consider when making important and impactful business decisions? What matters the most to them? Mind you, I already have three years of work experience in a large corporation. I believe I am not alone in this confusion, and the Embark Project reverse mentorship program really caught my eye, thereby providing a rare opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with these people.
At the same time, this program seemed so challenging. I was used to being coached by people who had more experience, not the other way around. What could they possibly learn from me? Through the training from the Embark team, I got to know that communication and personal connections could be in itself valuable, especially between people at different stages of life and from different backgrounds.
The mentee who was assigned to me was open-minded, friendly, and easy to talk to. What I found most impressive about him is how he proactively takes in new information to improve what he does. Along the way, he selectively employs new methods in the trends, rather than sticking to the original method and potentially falling behind. How open he is to new ways of doing things is very inspiring to me. He is also very humble and appreciative of what I say, and our meetings have always been relaxed and informative for both sides. I learned from him the importance of paying attention and having the patience to let others finish their thoughts in order to effectively motivate sharing and learning.
I realized that even though career-wise I am not very experienced, I may still hold information and perspectives of value, and my opinions matter. We all have unique backgrounds and personal characteristics, and I should be more confident in contributing. For me, the best moments in this journey are when my mentee gets curiously interested when I bring up something new. It is a great feeling to know that you have brought new perspectives to another person’s life, especially if you respect that person very much.
Overall, I have no doubt that this program will help young students build networks and gain the confidence to approach people at various stages of their careers. I am now more confident in myself when speaking up and sharing my thoughts, and that will definitely help me in my career. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Embark program, and I am also grateful to myself for taking this opportunity. This has been a unique experience, and in the future, I will be able to return to it many times and still learn from it.