Our mission at the Greenhorn Mentorship Program is to build outstanding individuals who have a positive impact on society, through mentorship.
We are featuring some of our amazing mentees as they narrate their mentorship experiences.
If you would like to share your own experience, a lesson you have picked up in mentorship, please reach out to us. We would love to hear your story.
I am Muthoni Gitau. A third year specializing in Operations Management.
My hobbies are reading, writing, making paper crafts and travelling.
Fun fact about myself is that I’ve never been to Juja.
Here is my Greenhorn Mentorship experience.
As is with every beginning, there’s a why things begin.
My why was simple.
I needed my hand held through the journey that is campus life and career aspirations.
I wanted to learn from the experience of a person that had gone before me and made it within the same circumstances I did.
A firsthand experience unlike those motivational speeches about how a person started with one bean and grew that to a restaurant, infuriating.
The real reason I chose to embark on this journey was due to a friend recommending it to me, I was just trying to ‘bean-alize’.( see reference above).
I didn’t know I needed it until that one friend recommended it to me.
Prepare for a ride as we get into the details of how it’s been, the lessons, the challenges and my takeaways.
WHAT WERE YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
A mentorship where I’d learn healthy habits and a positive mindset in my academic work, building strong peer relationships and those that’d help me in my career.
My aim was to learn as much as I could and get guidance on issues affecting all six spheres of my life: Physical, mental, emotional, social, work and spiritual.
WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING A MENTEE?
Here’s the story I can tell after almost two years of being a mentee.
The application process was well thought out and highly selective which I honestly loved because it showed that Greenhorn cared about who they were interacting and identifying with.
The selection process was to identify the mentee’s needs and their personality in order to connect them to the right mentors.
The first email from Greenhorn came through.
I was assigned my first mentor.
Let me tell you guys, say excitement! (Direct translation).
Therefore, I had to reach out to my mentor.
This was to foster continued progression. Of course within the social comfort levels of the mentee.
I reached out and the journey with my first mentor began.
THE FIRST MEETING…
The initial conversation was basically about getting to know each other, setting our goals that would be in line with both our expectations.
Then the first meeting, I was very nervous as is with meeting any new person.
The hangout went pretty well and I enjoyed every bit of it, free food, am I right?
We talked about ourselves, our interests, school life, work life and basically every topic within our comfort levels.
This helped us come up with a plan on how to move forward with the mentorship, the expectations, the schedule, the goals we were working on attaining in all aspects of my life with regard to my strengths and weakness.
A plan was discussed and out we went to conquer the worldMUTHONI
The plan entailed how often we were to have physical meetings, the areas we were supposed to work on and the time frame to work on them, the “how” to work on improving all areas and the measure of effectiveness of how far I had worked on a trouble area.
“Rusungu” too much? NO? Okay.
The works began a bit later in the month due to interruptions by my examinations.
From time to time based on our availability we’d schedule a talk through texts, emails and calls to see how far I’d implemented the plan.
I might not capture in essence all the details of the mentorship I’ve had, but I can state some of the habits I learned and how that has impacted my life so far.
LESSONS FROM MENTORSHIP
SOCIAL – EMOTIONAL ASPECT
This entailed making relationships, managing my feelings and behaviors and self awareness
I learnt how to express myself besides my peers.
I was taught how to compose my emails, how to text formally and how to pass information across effectively and using the right words.
Eloquence was part of the itinerary.
Frequent check-ins helped me understand how to maintain relationships.
I was able to express my emotions by openly talking about what was going on in my life.
Self awareness came in the form of understanding the how and why I needed to work on myself through the plan we made.
I got out of my comfort zone in how I socialize , my views of myself and the views of others.
Working together also made me work on my team playing aspect.
Knowing our mentorship boundaries helped maintain mutual respect.
Most of our initial conversations were through email where I’d receive educational and developmental feedback on issues discussed.
I remember one time thinking, ” This is typed by a pro!” ” brief and informative.” I made sure to emulate that.
There was career advice and school life talks.
This helped me put into perspective how the business world works and how to start aligning my school life with the business world.
We talked about my mentor’s work background, career changes and getting into the work force.
Additionally we tackled trends in the business world including the do’s and don’ts of the business world.
This helped me identify my career aspirations and what was expected of me.
I was able to look at different perspectives of viewing things.
Working towards problem solving, making a plan and sticking with it.
We had mental health talks which enabled me to do critical analysis.
Through all this, I picked up healthy routines and habits.
Food. Looking for a meeting point on Google Maps is an extreme sport.
I emulated a healthy lifestyle as that was part of the aspects I was to work on in the plan.
This helped keep me in shape and therefore helping with my self esteem.
Lest I forget did I tell you about the free food?
Did I mention that my mentor has a killer fashion sense?
So now you know where I got it from.
You ever heard this phrase that a student is either struggling academically, financially, emotionally or all three?
I am no different.
Part of addressing my emotional needs included working on my spirituality which was provided for in the plan
Post-covid mentorship has been working so great thus far with the only exception being lack of physical meetings and a change in the dynamics due to a school break.
Irriz wharriris though and we will improvise, adapt and overcome.
Check-ins still continue and the initial plan is what I’m still working on with a few changes here and there but I can’t complain.
– Make the mentorship experience as personal to you as possible so as to get the full benefit of the mentorship.
– Be teachable
– I’d like to state that all mentorship relationships are not similar.
Some are more formal, others are more informal. It’s up to you, the mentee, to set the tone according to both your expectations provided there’s ethical behaviour and respect.
– Following up and checking in with your mentor is also a personal decision but seek to do it often. You can only get as much help as the interest you show.
– Keep working on yourself and adjusting your goal plan as you grow and mature and with all the challenges you’ll face and work with your mentor to facilitate it
– Make friends and stay safe.