By Maureen Saha
Mentorship has always been a vague domain for me … kind of like something that’s always there, but not really something that I care about. Kind of like how my phone tells me to update and I’m like “Update? Yeah maybe later” and promptly forget about it. It’s there floating on the edge of my mind but I’ve never heeded it. So when I heard about a mentorship program just for girls, (GEM- Girls E-Mentorship) , I was like “Uh, okay, cool”. My go-to response to life honestly.
I contacted a couple of people who were in the program, checked out what they thought about the program, and I applied. Can’t hurt to try right?
So let me tell you a bit about the program. GEM was founded with the intent of helping girls overcome barriers as they transition into adulthood.
So how exactly do they do that?
In this nine-month program, all GEM mentees are matched with a mentor who is professionally successful in their career. Mentors support mentees in both personal and professional growth and development. Together, they tackle key areas set in place by GEM such as goal-setting, networking, and stress-managing (my personal favorite). But hey, guess what? That’s not all!
Throughout the year (the program runs for nine-months) mentees are required to attend GEMinars. (Like seminars, but just for GEM… get it? Right, okay.) Each GEMinar is hosted by a specific company, with a specific theme. For example, our first GEMinar was hosted by Linkedin, and we learned about the power of networking. Our second one was hosted by Cisco, and we talked about careers in STEM. 3-D printing is really super cool, like woah!
How has GEM impacted me you ask? Great question.
I’m currently participating in an Outreach Challenge where we need to recruit more girls into the program. This challenge has really pushed me to get out of my comfort zone (and that’s a good thing!) See, I would rather talk to people face-to-face, instead of DMing them. What can I say? I’m a visual person; I’m good with faces.
But, in order to spread the word about my challenge, I’ve been DMing random strangers going “Hey, I’m doing an Outreach Challenge, would it be okay if I posted on your Facebook page?” Now, you may be thinking, “Well, what’s so hard about that? Seems easy enough.”
Try getting no replies back, having to contact the other admins of the groups, getting no interactions on your post, people telling you “No” with no reason why ….
Yikes, I know. But it’s not so bad. I figured out how to tweak my post so people would respond to it. In the beginning, I was like “Leave your email if interested,” and now I’m like “Alright fill out the google form in the post”. Which seemed to work a lot better, so there you go! Learning is growing.
Speaking of google forms… if you’re interested in applying for the program, or even just interested in it in general, PLEASE fill out the google form below. Please.
Thank you for coming to my TED Talk and have a lovely and wonderful day.