This blog will be discussing the phenomenon of Flash Mentoring, its benefits and why it is of such interest to thought leaders.
Today, mentoring is often like speed dating. A mentor can commit to having a ten minute conversation with a student interested in his/her career.
All it takes is a connection, through a digital platform or email, and a meeting is booked. In those ten minutes, the alum answers whatever questions the student has and then he or she is done – that’s it.
After that conversation, there’s no “I’ll see you for coffee next week” or “when’s our next appointment?” It can literally be one interaction and finished!
More alumni want to engage in this type of mentoring because it is flexible, and it gives them and the student an instant return without a long- term commitment.
Thought Leaders call this new phenomenon ‘flash mentoring’, ‘speed mentoring’ and ‘micro volunteering’.
In other words, there is a clear sunrise and a clear sunset. The mentor isn’t doing this for the next two years, they’re only doing it for those ten minutes. It’s a chance for the mentor to have more interactions with more students and help them with their career paths.
As a result, I believe we need to drastically change the way we match mentors and the way we think about valuable engagement. The focus needs to be about facilitating connections between alumni, based upon shared interests, affiliations and intent.
Most of the traditional ways of matching do not get to the core of what drives connections – namely shared interests and passions.
Finding and facilitating a common passion between alumni and students is difficult, and it is not something that can be done instantly. Like all relationships, this must be done organically.
Speed mentoring is valuable and so are deeper mentoring relationships. For both, the key to matching is understanding – and where possible documenting – the true interests, affiliations and intent of both your alumni and your students.