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How to Make the Most of Being a Mentee

Global Stories, IntuitLife, Israel Two professional women discuss their career goals

When Dayna Kesten, a Staff Business Data Analyst, first joined the Intuit Israel Individual Contributor (IC) Mentoring Program as a mentee, she expected to connect and learn from a fellow employee from across the site. Dayna was one of 24 mentees who attended the most recent cycle of the mentoring program, which focuses on developing individual contributors from across the site. Fast forward six months, she’s thriving in her role as part of the analytics team and was even asked to join the program as a mentor.

Studies have shown that having a wide variety of voices around the table is extremely beneficial to running any business, organization or project. Mentorship is just one way to help foster talent, which can contribute to a company’s growth, innovation, and bottom line.

At Intuit, we have many mentoring programs available to employees. Ranging from programs at Intuit sites, like Israel, to those supporting military families, and students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, we believe everyone can benefit from being mentored.

Being a mentee can be an inspiring and rewarding experience. In the spirit of National Mentoring Month some of Intuit’s mentors and mentees share their favorite pieces of advice to help you make the most of your mentorship experience.

Reflect on your personal development aspirations and ask for guidance

Today’s business landscape is complex and changing. Navigating and maneuvering it is critical. “Career development is a continuous process, one that demands the exploration of each employee’s personal skill set, professional knowledge and more. Mentoring can help enhance your soft skills, move towards personal development aspirations and even get guidance on how to develop your leadership skills,” said Intuit Israel HRBP Hilla Shushan Roytman, who leads the Intuit Israel IC Mentoring Program together with Gilaad Dital, Fraud Policy Group Manager. 

“Advancing one’s career heavily depends on owning one’s career journey,” said Gilaad. “Take the time for active introspection, self-awareness, and get feedback from others.” Be open with yourself about your strengths and opportunities. Think about both your short term and long term career goals. Don’t be afraid to share your reflections with your mentor and ask for suggestions to help you reach your goals.

Dayna shares that being part of a mentorship program was an invaluable experience for her as she was able to connect with someone from a different field within the company who she may not have otherwise met. “Speaking to someone who isn’t on your direct team gives you different insights and perspectives,” says Dayna. “I was able to bring up use cases from work and if I had something to deal with and wasn’t sure how to go about it, my mentor was there to listen and share guidance.” 

Set up regular touch bases with your mentor

Mentorship requires work from both parties but can be incredibly rewarding. Talk to your mentor and align on the best way to stay in touch. Whether it’s monthly video calls, emails or even informal conversations, finding time to meet either in person or virtually will give you time to share any updates or ask for guidance. Relationships develop over time and touching base regularly is a great way to strengthen your connection with your mentor.

Aviv Ben Arie, an Israel IC Mentoring Program mentor, shares that she still regularly meets with her mentee. During the duration of the 6-month program, they met frequently and their relationship evolved over time to the point where they decided to keep meeting even after the program officially ended. “The most significant thing I gained from the program is a new co-worker friend,” said Aviv.  We continue to regularly discuss challenges and dilemmas we face at work. I share my own issues and love to seek my mentee’s perspective on things.” 

Make mentoring a meaningful experience 

Don’t be afraid to share your unique journey, honest thoughts and experiences. Both mentees and mentors can add value that can strengthen the relationship.

Benjamin Cates, participated as mentor and said, “Everyone should try to look for mentors and to mentor when the opportunity arises. As a mentor you gain from your mentee as much as they gain from you. Over time, the people you mentor become trusted friends and advisors to you and to others.”

Liat Ben Porat was also a mentor in the recent cycle and agreed this program proved beneficial in more ways than one. The mentorship program was able to connect people from different groups who may not have worked together. Moreover, she shares that the mentorship program was “an excellent opportunity for me to learn about the work that is being done on the site as well as to learn new working methods.”

Intuit Israel’s mentorship program is just one great example of how mentorship can positively impact all levels of an organization. Don’t worry if your company doesn’t have a formal mentorship program, you can look for mentors within your personal network. Reach out to someone you’ve admired, tap into an alumni network, post on your social network or ask colleagues for recommendations based on your goals. As you grow your career, don’t forget to give back and find opportunities to mentor others. Mentorship can be an invaluable resource throughout all stages of your career.