The View From Both Sides of Mentoring

Maggie Miller

Maggie Miller

During my career, I’ve sought out mentors for all kinds of help with writing, presentation skills, career development and all those work ups and downs. I find great value in the counsel of wiser and more experienced people. And I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without their valuable coaching and caring.

Here in Durham, our local chapter of OWL – Oracle Women’s Leadership program – has taken mentorship to a whole new level. Instead of hoping you’ll be lucky enough to find a mentor that will be willing to guide you, they’ve developed a formal process that allows OWL members to sign up for mentorship (as a mentor or mentee). Then they pair people up based on their experience and positions.

The Durham Mentorship Program, now in its second year, is growing with 33 mentor/mentee pairs. Participants kicked off the year-long program with an event where we met our matches and received advice from a mentor/mentee pair on how to make the partnership a success, which included meeting on a regular basis and simply listening to each other.

Not only do I have a mentor within the program, but I also thought it was a great time in my career to return the favor by taking on a mentee. And I’ve learned so much experiencing mentorship from both sides.

As a mentee, I’m benefitting from someone who can listen and offer unbiased advice and guidance. He’s helped me develop some career goals, and now I feel like I have a new vision for the future.

As a mentor, I’ve already helped coach someone through a specific situation. And it was really rewarding to hear her say that I made her feel much better after one of our meetings.

We can all benefit from a coach or mentor through the many stages of our lives. And as I’ve come to learn in my career, our success depends on it.


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