Mentoring101

“If you light a lamp for someone, you also brighten your own path.”

We find out what our Ambassadors Nigel and James have learnt from ASMU’s mentorship programme!

Q: Tell us about yourself!

N: Hi, I'm Nigel, a 3rd year law student.

J: I'm James, 2nd year, studying business.

Q: You guys are studying different things?!

Both: Yup.

Q: But you should be aiming for the same industry?

N: Not really... I'm hoping to be a lawyer.

J: I want to go into banking.

Q: Surely you have at least one thing in common?

J: Yes we do! We both love food.

N: Yeah but that’s like… all Singaporeans.

J: … True.

Q: Alright we give up, just how were you paired up?

N: I think they just put the 2 most eligible guys together.

J: (laughs) Sounds about right.

Q: Jokes aside-

N: That’s not a joke, interested applicants can call James at 8125-

J: - that’s a joke.

N: lololol

Q: Wait, so how does this mentorship work, if you guys are so different?

J: Well, I don’t feel like we needed to have too much in common to begin with. To me, mentorship is about having someone who is able to tell me more about the Corps, to seek advice from for school-related issues, or even wisdom about life in general.

N: Yup, when you've lived as long as I have, you tend to accumulate a lot of wisdom.

Q: You guys aren't that far apart in age?

N: True, but life in SMU is so fast-paced. A lot happens in one year. Mentorship puts you in touch with someone who's actually experienced what you are currently going through, which really helps you get started in terms of understanding the organisation. My mentor, Dawn, helped me with this and I wanted to pass it on to the next batch.

Q: Something like an orientation camp faci?

N: At the start, yes. But, since the orientation period, we’ve gone on to discuss what we want to get out of being in the Corps, personal development goals and so on. James put together a 2-page research piece on goal setting.

J: Oh, nothing much! Just a compilation of resources from various websites.

Q: How did that work out?

J: I set goals for myself in Year 1, but they were pretty hard to keep to. Setting goals together was beneficial because it motivated me to keep track of my own progress.

N: Yep, we also gave feedback on each other’s goals to make them more realistic, more achievable, and so on.

J: That’s something I’ll want to do with my mentee in a few months’ time, after we recruit the next batch, and I “graduate” to being a mentor.

Q: Sounds good! Any advice for mentors and mentees out there?

N: I’d say, be open minded. Don’t expect to become best of friends, but don’t rule it out either.

J: Yup, it’s great to plan ahead, but I think mentoring is about relationships; it’s very human, and that is the most unpredictable element.

Q: Thanks for sharing, guys. All the best in your respective mentorship journeys!

Both: Thanks!