Most people would think that mentoring has to take place whilst physically in their mentor’s presence. In reality, it can take place however, whenever and wherever you and your mentor wish. From speaking to other mentees during a brief catch up session, I realised that some mentees may have only physically seen their mentor once or twice whereas, I have been lucky to be in the House of Lords on average once a month since the start of the programme.
Nevertheless, the second term of university brought an abrupt halt to that experience. Between our schedules, Doreen and I struggled to meet yet contact was not halted as various emails were exchanged updating her on my progress within university and in other aspects of my life.
The benefits of such mentoring were to name a few:
- The raw honesty of what I was saying being there on a page – I could say how I felt more openly without some fear of the reaction
- You can write the longest message on Earth and detail it with actual thought rather than babbling on.
- You can plan in detail what you wish to get out of your physical meeting because you appreciate it more
Some of the drawbacks that could be experienced could be:
- The interpretation of the response although Doreen and I have met enough for me to gage how she meant things – this may be difficult if you hadn’t met your mentor enough physically.
- The response time – Doreen is excellent with responding however everyone knows the feeling of waiting for someone to respond is DREADED depending on the prior message.
- You just want contact. Some people crave a human face to spur you on. I’ve found after all of my meetings with Doreen, I feel encouraged and uplifted while some people may crave in physical contact more so than through email.
Having said all this, my email experience was positive. I think the ALMP team have created #MentoringGoals in Doreen and I.
Till next time,