If you were to ask anyone about how building a strong mentorship works, it would be to focus on building a strong connection. In meeting with Martin Hanley, my Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE) Fellowship Mentor, the principle of building connections was a clear focus. Our first mentorship meeting concentrated on connections between one another, legislative leaders, and the future.
Starting out, Martin took time to get to know me. Asking about my career background and how I had entered the Career and Technical Education (CTE) field. I also got to hear about his background in CTE. It was incredible to hear about his involvement within his ACTE organization as the Region III Representative. His passion and commitment to continual learning were clearly evident. In taking time to get to know me, Martin asked a very pointed question, what were my goals as a mentee moving forward in the mentorship program?
This question helped to provide a purpose and connection.
Beyond building connections with me, Martin and I were able to discuss how to build connections with legislative leaders. Martin understood the connections I had already built with local legislative leaders and guided me on contacting federal leaders. Tips he gave me on how to connect with policy leaders beyond in-person opportunities, such as utilizing online information about when legislators are in-session or, how to find local offices of these legislators helped me to grow. Martin was incredibly knowledgeable about how to build these connections.
As a final point, Martin and I discussed how to connect forward. A lot of what happens in life is connecting with others now for opportunities in the future. Right now is a great time to make plans. Particularly, to take time during the National Policy Seminar (NPS) to connect with others, as well as interact regularly with those around me to build
Strong mentorships have a foundation of strong connections and throughout my first mentor meeting, I felt this focus on connection with my mentor, legislative leaders, and the
future will help me have a foundation to create real connections going forward.
Region V New Professional Fellow