Monday, December 19, 2016

Need a Mentor? Round 5 Begins!

In my last post I wrote about becoming a mentor. In this post it's all about those of you who want to become a mentee. Are you looking for an outside voice to help you think deeply about both your career and tough issues in the field? A push and/or a sympathetic ear? If you are, consider applying for my own little venture.

What's it like? The word cloud at the top of the post includes words that previous mentees used to describe the process after their year. Here's the deal for the coming year. Mark your calendar: the deadline for applications is January 4.  I welcome and encourage applications from anywhere in the world, although I'm sadly only an English speaker.

The Shape of the Mentorship

We'll schedule one-hour Skype or Google Hangout conversations at mutually convenient times once a month. In addition to the monthly conversations, I'll happily provide feedback, introductions as I can, and loads and loads of opinions. If I can, I'd love to meet you in person if we can intersect. From you, I'll expect two or three blog posts on deadlines we mutually set and of course, active participation and questioning along the way. It's your mentorship and it's up to you to take responsibility in shaping it.

How to Apply

If you're interested, by January 4, send me an email that includes your resume plus your responses to the following questions. No word count specified. Say what you have to say, short or long.
  • What change would you like to make in the museum field?
  • When did you fail and what did you learn?
  • What's the most interesting exhibit or program you saw in the last year?
  • What key questions would you like to discuss with me during the year?
  • What non-work related book are you reading?
How Do I Decide?

Because this is my own individual project, I get to make my own decisions, sometimes with the counsel of a few trusted colleagues.  Previous year's mentees have been in graduate school, emerging professionals or mid-career types. I'm probably not very interested in you if your key questions are about becoming a consultant. This year, I'm particularly interested in those of you entering the field from alternative ways or whose career has taken a surprising path. Outside the US applicants, you're particularly encouraged to apply as well.

I want to be challenged and intrigued, I don't care about your Meyers-Briggs type or your grades in graduate school. I appreciate people who don't take themselves too seriously. I want to get off that Skype call every month ready to think more about your work and my work and the ways we can make change. Museums have a larger role to play in this complex world--but only if we dig in and get at it.

Questions, ask away!

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