The STC-SM chapter launched a mentoring program during the 2017-2018 program year. The program is open to college students close to graduation and adults considering a career change.
After volunteering, I was matched with two mentees: a student at Eastern Michigan University and a professional in the Bay Area (California) who is switching careers. Here are some brief thoughts about my experience.
What do you most enjoy about being an STC-SM mentor?
I enjoy meeting new people and learning more about their professional objectives. Mentoring people coming into technical communications is really nice because you get exposed to new ideas in our field. Mentoring gives you insight into how universities are preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s technical communication careers. This insight helped me to refine my own professional goals and got me excited about learning new things.
Would you would recommend and encourage other members to become mentors? Why?
I think that everyone, regardless of professional experience, can benefit from new perspectives. Meeting students who are coming into the field helps you see our profession with new eyes. I completed my education some time ago, and at times I pull out the same set of tools to solve each problem. Meeting with someone new to the field and exchanging ideas has helped me to see new solutions to challenges.
How has being a mentor impacted you professionally?
Mentoring others helped to cement some of my skills that had grown a bit rusty over the years. The STC-SM mentoring program also opened up opportunities for me to mentor others and move into more of a leadership role at work.
How has the mentoring program been beneficial to you?
I believe that anyone can learn something valuable from others, regardless of where you are in life. I believe that the mentoring program is beneficial because for me it has been as much of a learning experience as it has been a teaching experience.
What you have gained from the experience?
I have built relationships with two people I genuinely like and respect. I’ve often thought about the people who mentored me in my early career, and I am grateful that I’m now able to pay it forward.
Become a Mentor or Mentee
To join the STC-SM Mentoring Program as a mentor or a mentee, email our Mentoring Program Coordinator.
If you would like to mentor future technical communicators at the national level, STC also has a program.