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"Mentorship" - Maryam Alhuthayfi
With Maryam Alhuthayfi Google Developer Expert Android & Senior Android Engineer Zain KSA Saudi Arabia.
This week I had the honor to speak to Maryam Alhuthayfi; you can watch the entire interview on YoutTube, or listen to all podcasts. Maryam Alhuthayfi is a Senior Android Engineer at Zain KSA in Saudi Arabia, Google Developer Expert Android, Women Tech Makers Ambassador, and a Mentor who enjoys providing mentorship and guidance.
What types of mentorship are we talking about here?
Technical mentoring, career path mentoring, and how to contribute and make content.
I have dealt with technical mentoring more often. I trained many Android developers to make Android apps and to contribute to the Android community.
I usually do that on my own in my free time, and sometimes I get lucky to be part of a program to do that, like Road to GDE or any other program.
I do mentorship online most of the time.
What are the challenges you face as a mentor?
To find the best time for me and my mentee when I’m not drained after work hours, and they have time actually to work and implement what we agree on.
The medium of communication
Sometimes the medium of communication becomes a struggle. For example, your mentee booked only through Calendly, and you want to cheer her up or follow up with her in a medium faster than emails. So, as a mentor, you must address that during the mentoring session.
Believe it or not, but people come to you for mentoring because they think you’re doing something right in your life regardless of how you might feel about yourself.
They want to learn how you did xyz and how far away they are from making a similar move that you did.
I classified it as a challenge because others look up to you which forms a pressure on you to become better and improve yourself constantly.
How do you deal with different types of mentees?
I start by finding a similar interest and do an icebreaker activity where I talk about myself, and they do that as well.
There are mentees who know where they are, and what they are looking for (you have a start and end) and others who know what they want but are not sure where they are right now. (As a mentor, you know the end but not the start).
The first group (they know where to start and what they want) is mainly looking for useful connections to be directed to the interested groups or an introduction to a person who can make this goal happen.
The second group (they know what they want but don’t know where to start) mainly looks for resources and suggestions on achieving something.
The key here is to listen and let your mentees decide the mentoring session’s goals. And you, as a mentor, provide insights along the way.
How do you make sure that your mentor is working?
You can define the aspect of mentoring first. For example, what is the goal of this mentoring session?
Based on your mentee's aspect, you can also ask them to rate their experience there.
Then, provide them with the needed requirements to succeed (share resources, refer them to interested people, introduce them to the right groups, provide them with visibility by reposting their work, etc.)
Then, in the next session, you can do the rating part again and compare the numbers.
What are your goals as a mentor?
To elevate your mentees work, to encourage them, to support, to share your resources and your connections.
What do those challenges look like from the opposite side as a mentee?
Time. I mentioned it as a struggle for mentors before and will mention it as a struggle again for mentees. It’s so hard to find a suitable time where both the mentor and the mentee can be their best at creating and socializing. And it becomes harder if they are in different time zones.
Mentors are hard to find. Looking for someone to help you achieve a goal takes time. Especially, if you're looking for someone with a similar interest or a similar career path who also is willing to mentor others.
Mentees see their mentors as someone they look up to and they want to show them their best which sometimes is not beneficial to the mentoring sessions. As a mentor, you need to provide a safe environment to ask whatever questions they have.
They might have commitment challenges.
Let’s book a session next week, then, you see them next month. I believe these things are totally normal in free mentoring sessions.