This comes in many forms; parents, friends, professors, loved ones, or organized mentorship programs. I happened to be part of a mentorship program at my University, and I was super excited to see what was to come of it. I chose my area of interest; entrepreneurship and start-ups and awaited the day that I’d find out who my mentor was. I was paired with a very successful insurance broker, who owned his own insurance brokerage with five different offices and over 50 employees.. sweet! However, upon initial meeting, I knew it was a waste of both of our time.
So where in Toronto are you from?
No, I’m actually from England. I’d love to go to Toronto one day though.
Oh, England! But you lived in Toronto?
No, I actually lived in Singapore. I’ve never been to Toronto before.
Oh, Singapore! But you were born in Toronto?
No, I was born in England, I’ve never been to Toronto.
Yes, oh. Can you listen? Then the conversation proceeds into some sort of mixed advice giving and gloating. “There aren’t many people who will give up their time like I am for you, it’s good though because young students like you need to learn!” Yeah, cool, except I’ve learned jack and we’ve been here for three hours. I expressed my business idea to him, and he spoke about charity organizations in response (no, my business idea had nothing to do with charities, but thanks for the input). Anyway, needless to say, it was a big waste of everyone’s time, but I got a free lunch out of it, so that was a plus.
I’m no longer going to meet with this man, except I don’t know how to approach it. Do I email him letting him know that I no longer have time for the program in my busy schedule, or do I be straight up and say- yo, listen to your mentees? After all, he is giving up his time for me, but it seems like a personal gain for him and a time-consuming, effort wasting, trip to the other side of Vancouver for me. He does own a decently sized corporation, though, and both of his daughters are professional lawyers, so, you know, pick your enemies.