How to Find a Great Mentor in the Technology Industry

  • The Careers in Code bootcamp has mentors that have years of experience in the industry!
  • Network on LinkedIn! This is especially effective if you are new to a company. Find people outside of your team on LinkedIn with similar roles who can guide you as you learn the ropes at your new job.
  • Attend hackathons! (If you’re a university student, check out CuseHacks’s upcoming 2022 Hackathon.)
  • Attend local networking events for tech professionals such as OpenHack, Syracuse.io, Syracuse Javascript Meetup, and Women in Coding
  • Join local technology interest groups.
  • In Syracuse there are active Slack channels called Hack Upstate and Syracuse.io. Get in there and introduce yourself.
  1. Say hello!
  2. Tell them how you know them/found them. For instance, “[This person] referred me to you,” or “I saw that we were both in [this] LinkedIn group.” It can even be as little as “I saw that we were both technology professionals based in Syracuse.”
  3. Explain why you are reaching out. You don’t have to say that you’re specifically looking for a “mentor.” Instead, you can say that you’re looking for advice on getting started in the industry.
  4. Don’t come on too strong. Give them an opportunity to back out if they’re not interested in meeting with you. You can say something like, “If you know someone else who might be able to help me, please let me know!”
  • What is your career path like? Hearing about someone’s career path, especially if they switched into tech later in their career, can be really helpful to get an idea of how people in coding careers typically get jobs and move up the ladder.
  • What is going on in your career currently? Obviously, mentors have their own career goals and struggles. Showing genuine interest in what is currently happening in your mentor’s career is an important part of fostering the relationship. And hey, you might even have some advice for them!
  • What was the biggest mistake you made in your career? Listen, and then learn how to avoid that mistake.
  • What do you wish you knew before going into this industry? You can ask a variation of this question that is more specific to you, like “What do you wish you knew before going into UI design?” or “What do you wish you knew before working at a start-up?” Although you might not like the answer, this question will help you get a better idea of the lesser-known aspects of a role/industry/company.
  • How did you develop this skill? If your mentor is an expert in a certain part of your field that you’re interested in, learn how they got there.

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Hack Upstate

Hack Upstate

Advancing Upstate New York's tech community through events and education. http://hackupstate.com/ && https://careersincode.org/