Spotlight: Leo Lu

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What I think is great about mentorship is as a mentee, you're able to speak to someone at a stage where you want to go to. This helps a lot because they've been in your shoes before and they know what's going on, so they can give you actual steps based on the situation and their experience to help you get there. In general, mentorship helps the mentee figure out what they want to do, and you do that by asking them the right questions, sharing your experiences, and helping the mentee get to that answer.

As a mentor, I like being able to share what I've gone through to help someone else. In a way, it lets me replay the past for myself as well and put into practice what I've learned. I think it's really interesting because you can teach a lot of what's not taught in traditional education. Things like how to present yourself, or how to even get into the room where the important conversations are being held. For me, it was a lot of trial and error. Now that I've learned from it, hopefully my mentees will be able to learn from my experiences too.

What I like helping my mentees do is to create an action plan. For instance if we're discussing networking, who are they going to reach out to this week? Depending on the stage, what are the three different points they want to hit on during the meeting so they can get the most out of it? I encourage mentees to go towards being more on the proactive versus passive side, especially right now, given the way that things are moving. There isn't really that much to lose if someone just doesn't respond.

You can find out more about Leo from a podcast episode where he discusses his role in corporate venture. In his free time, Leo runs After Hour Projects, a site focused on side projects.

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