Mentorship is acting as the window leading to the bigger picture for an individual, and helping them traverse through the difficult road to the greater goal. It is preparing an individual for facing unforeseen challenges, and the trials and tribulations of being a professional.
James Stephens rightly said, ‘CURIOSITY WILL CONQUER FEAR EVEN MORE THAN BRAVERY WILL.’ My personal life and my career trajectory has been shaped by my inquisitiveness and curiosity. I am Meeth D Jain, currently working as a Senior Software Developer at Microsoft, and this is my journey.
I grew up in Tumkur, a satellite town of Bengaluru, and had a memorable childhood. Growing up, like every other child, my interactions with computers were limited to gaming. While my uncle’s computer was the keen subject of my explorations and tribulations, it wasn’t until much later that I began to think of computers and programming as a possible career option.
I was naturally inclined towards computers, and this reflected in my choice of subjects at high school. Teachers and mentors have been instrumental to my journey, and my first brush with meaningful mentoring was at school. I had two brilliant teachers, who taught me the basics of programming. They helped lay a solid foundation of programming, and provided me guidance on how I could take to computers as my professional pursuit.
I felt the acute lack of a mentor, when I had to make the decision of choosing a good college that would further my career aspirations and goals. As the first engineer in my family, there was no concrete guidance as to what factors I should consider while picking a college campus. I proceeded as per what I thought was best for me, and completed my Bachelor’s from SIT College of Engineering, in Tumkur.
At college, I participated in extracurricular activities, travelled to several cities for competitions, and also tasted success. I think my fondest memory from college is that of a live project, which I undertook in the final year. The project helped me understand that I wanted to work on the application-based spectrum of coding. Theoretical aspects were monotonous for me, and this realisation helped me immensely in my professional life.
Work has been an integral part of my growth as a person. I have contributed to several innovations in various companies, and my current role at Microsoft is extremely fulfilling. Mentoring is a core part of my work at Microsoft, as there is a prevalent culture of providing mentorship and guidance.
An individual’s experience, in terms of years in the industry, is a deciding factor when it comes to mentoring capacity. The lessons I have learnt over these eight years, and what I know about the industry, would benefit someone who has three years of experience. Similarly, I would be benefited through the advice of someone who has fifteen years of experience. As a team head, while working on different projects, I get to interact with and guide my colleagues. My mentees have been amazing, and I have learnt a lot through my interactions with them.
My passion for mentoring prompted me to join Scaler as a Mentor. The on-boarding experience was fabulous, and I really liked how a learner’s journey was conceptualised. It’s been over a year, here at Scaler, and overall, it’s been wonderful. I have connected with my mentees fairly well, and have fostered meaningful bonds with them.
I think advice and mentorship cannot be quantified. Providing guidance to someone is not like teaching someone how to code, or explaining theoretical portions. It is more like providing qualitative support to an individual, facilitating their growth and in the process, enabling growth for your own self.
As a mentor, you help someone see the bigger picture, and facilitate clarity through the chaos. One has to help their mentees find answers to profound questions that can make or break their careers. It is a role of utmost responsibility, and entails your unwavering commitment towards another individual’s betterment.
The advice I often give to my learners is to explore various avenues that are available to them. In the early stages of one’s career, an individual must participate and engage with different experiences, as it helps one gain knowledge, and grow. Be unafraid, explore and engage, the world is yours to win!