Mentors can be found everywhere in our lives, however, cultivating a good mentor-mentee relationship with a complete stranger can be difficult. That’s why KIS chose to ask its Alumni to be mentors. Using Alumni as mentors proved to ease mentees into that initial step towards forming a relationship. The shared KIS educational experiences were the icebreaker to the first conversation.
This year, KIS launched its Mentorship Program with the Graduating Class of 2019. The aim of the program was to allow students to have conversations with alumni who could help them explore career fields that they were interested in.
Some students showed the capability and interest to take on more than just one mentor. One such graduate was Yash Subrahmanyam, whose aspiration is a career in Law and Political Sciences.
As a child, Yash has lived in many countries, including Switzerland, Sri Lanka, and Dubai. He joined KIS, wishing to be in the one school to complete his education, rather than constantly changing schools. Yash aspires to take Law and work in an Indian political firm. Yash strongly believes that political thought ‘is the one tool that can save the world; in this age of conflict, climate change, and corruption’.
“I am fascinated by how the legal framework functions. I usually follow on media, anything relating to the field, ranging from political conferences and debates to court cases. But, I also want to learn and be formally trained on the functioning of fundamental intricacies and statutes of the legal field. This is why I want to study both Law and Political Sciences in university,” shares Yash.
The two Mentors, that Yash was paired with were: Marion Greene (Class of 1988), County Commission of Hennepin County and former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives; and Philip Roy (Class of 2003) who completed his Bachelor’s in Political Science Government from Lawrence University.
“I wasn’t nervous as much as I was excited to interact with Ms. Marion. Seeing that she is a Commissioner and former Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, I was looking forward to understanding how she applied political theories to her job, and how I would benefit from an educational emphasis on politics as well,” says Yash.
Yash and his mentors decided to interact using emails. Sometimes, they would try to do Skype calls.
Yash describes, “Since both mentors and myself were obviously busy, it was not easy to keep in touch. The exchanges were beneficial on a personal level as well. Both the mentors addressed my doubts, and helped me understand how politics can be very rewarding as a career option.”
Mentorships are designed to provide the mentee with guiding questions that would assist the mentee with understanding how to address their own challenges. Industrial studies show that utilizing mentorships can be both beneficial to both the mentor and the mentee. For a mentee, taking that first step in recognizing that they would require more insight into their own situation is important. Mentees have to feel motivated to approach mentors with their questions and not feel judged by their mentors.
Yash states, “At the start of the program, I did not really have a specific goal in mind; I just wanted to talk to someone knowledgeable about politics. However, as my interactions with both Ms. Marion and Mr. Philip continued, I found out so much about how politics can relate to almost any other field or career.”
“The mentorship program was enriching. With my interactions with Mr. Philip, I developed new insights into politics, and related fields, which I did not know about earlier. My mentorship experiences definitely surpassed my expectations. Both these interactive experiences turned out to be very important and helpful to me. I hope it will be continued as far as possible.”
Yash has received acceptances into many Universities across the globe but is weighing his options between Kings College, London and Boston University.
– Manjusha Ninan, Alumni Coordinator