Being invested in their growth means recognizing that the people you are coaching today could be the same people you reach out to advice tomorrow and actively being a coach to make that happen.
“What really made me excited about Edith was it offered a way for me to formally connect with people online and offer them help based on my experiences. At Berkeley, I followed a really odd path. In EECS you’re supposed to take a certain combination of classes, but no one really talks about what you can do if you branch out.
I was very interested in the mathematical aspects of computing – what was eventually going to be called machine learning – but no one in my friend group was interested in doing it. There was no real support in the ecosystem at Berkeley either, even though it’s supposed to be one of the best programs in the world. And that felt really lonely. I had my brother, but it was still a very lonely path.
Because I had to go about figuring out how to look for internships, new areas of research, etc. on my own, it’s helped me accumulate a lot of experience that I want to give back to students who are also feeling alone. I hope I can offer some guidance or help them critically examine their own college experience as someone who isn’t in their immediate friend group, because that allows to me to offer an interesting or different point of view.
At the same time, Edith is a positive sum experience for me. Mentoring others helps me take a step back from my problems at work and concentrate on certain areas that I wouldn’t have otherwise. So for me as a mentor, I get to go outside my comfort zone as well as give back.
Spotlight: Fabio Hodo
Operations Research @ Columbia
"As an international student, we have less choices. There’s nothing for us – if you’re a bright international student, you’re left out to dry."
Spotlight: Guneesha Sawhney
Business Administration, Society and Environment @ UC Berkeley
"Ashish literally spent hours on call with me so we could go through my application, making sure every detail was perfect before I sent it in, and no mentor has ever given me that much time out of their busy schedule!"
Spotlight: Ashish Bhatt
Consultant @ L.E.K. Consulting
"In my opinion, the only way to make a meritocracy is by ensuring everyone has access to a mentor. Some people are naturally born with mentors from their family or network, and they start on an uneven playing field. But if everyone has a mentor who will guide and vouch for them, then it's really about execution - not where you were born or who you know."