Frank Chen

Frank Chen

slip into mentorship by figuring out what value you can provide

In all walks of life, it's good to have mentorship, a coach, if you will, for anything that you want to be better at.

I don't particularly like the word "mentorship" because it implies it's something beyond a relationship, when in reality, mentorship is just a really good relationship within a specific context. I don't get into relationships hoping for mentorship, I go into relationships genuinely curious about the other person, and how I can help them achieve their goals. With relationships, especially in today's increasingly remote world, clear communication is key.

Writing and updating your mentor (a.k.a "relationship") is something that I've done in the past to notify him/her of the actions that I have taken to improve my situation or build my skills, usually as as result of actually listening and absorbing the information the mentor has given me. This type of writing is a concise act of show n' tell, and a mix of gratitude and progress update.


Just wanted to chime in and let you know what's going on in my neck of the woods. It's been a couple months since we spoke, and I just wanted to let you know that your advice did not fall on deaf ears.

Here's some action items I took since our call:

  1. I signed up for a TOPIC class up here at LOCATION, but it got cancelled due to COVID. I'm on the waiting list for immediate notification when it opens up again. In the meantime, I've signed up for ONLINE COURSE.
  2. I applied for a couple of INTERNSHIPS around my area. Although I haven't received a response yet from A, and B, C has kindly requested an interview session and I'm weighing my options.
  3. I'm keeping up with my OTHER RELEVANT EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY, which has smoothened out my ability to SKILL NUMBER 1 and also enhanced my precision with SKILL NUMBER 2. I've been systematizing and practicing the system that you recommended last time in our call. I'm seeing great results.

It's a tough time due to the pandemic, but I'm staying patient, doing double duty, and slowly building the skills necessary to DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO.

No response needed, just chiming in with a progress check. Appreciate our call last time, and hope things are well with you!

It's really not hard. I make it a bulleted list so they can quickly scan down the message and figure out that I'm taking action on a number of things. I even say there's no response or action necessary on their part. If they want to reply that's fine, but for the most part, you're just letting them know that what they said resonated with you, and you didn't just sit on your hands.

It doesn't even need to be super long. It could literally be shortened down to two or three sentences if you have concrete results - "I earned $20k in profits based on your advice." What matters is consistent communication. Even if you don't end up moving forward, optimistic intent and being forward-looking is really important.

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