Questions/Requests on Mentorship
Having a mentor or mentors is an important aspect in your career, heck, your life. We all need guidance, advice, and the wise book says in a multitude of counselors there is victory. So it is good to seek out a mentor, someone who may know more than you, who will tell you difficult truths in order to build you up and who will invest the time into you. Of course, ultimately, you are the one who chooses which advise to take, but in my case, I have rarely diverted from the counsel of my mentor(s).
That being said, a mentor is usually someone more experienced or more knowledgeable person than you, regardless of whether or not they are younger than you but also someone willing to invest time in you. A mentor sees you for who you could be and helps you in getting closer and closer to your potential in whatever area of life. So it must be someone that you can trust and whose life/accomplishments thus far are such that they inspire you to do as much or more. Most big decisions in my life have been run by my mentor(s). They did not guide me step by step in doing something, but rather helped me with the bigger picture of my life and how certain decisions will impact that. So you need to put in the work, having a mentor is not having someone do the work for you or giving you the cheat sheet. Ultimately, its still you to do what is required for the desired objective.
The critical times where I have needed a mentor have been soon after completing my bachelors degree, I realized I was not longer sure what aspect of Economics I wanted to pursue after all. Then when I was deciding on a Masters degree, where to go etc and implications on my job at the time. When I was going for my Ph.D, I absolutely know I needed to and that the time was right but still got advise on the best way to do it and to leave my job and go back to full-time learning. Then when applying for the WBG YPP, I did not know anyone who was in the program and almost all information I got was online. I had no prior experience with the World Bank but boy was I determined to go in. Sometimes, that's all you need. Sorry of that sounds like something from a self-help book.
Perhaps there are mentorship services online these days, but to me, I think its better to have someone who knows you a bit more and who truly wants to develop others; someone with leadership qualities. Of course you can always get information and advise from resources such as this blog and writings of other accomplished individuals. But that is not your mentor. Still, make good use of these.
In the past few weeks, I have received a lot of requests for mentorship in general or requests for mentorship through an application process. As I mentioned in this post, I am unable to respond to each message individually nor conduct 1 on 1 guidance at this time. This is the reason for this website and these blogs. Feel free to sign up, for free. Nevertheless, I thought I say a bit more about being a mentor and being mentored and hopefully that will help.