The Mentor Method empowers women to lead with confidence by connecting them to career mentors through a patent-pending matching process that uses over 60 data points to fully understand who their mentees are as professionals and help them meet the right mentors faster. Janice Omadeke, CEO and founder of the Mentor Method, sat down to discuss what it was like to be the only D.C.-based business chosen to participate in MIT’s Global Bootcamp and how her company is helping millennial women fast-track their careers and deliver a greater impact on the Metro-D.C. region and worldwide economies.
What made you want to start this business?
Early in my career, I found myself making a lot of little mistakes, and I knew that if I had the right mentor or the right career allies in my corner I would have been able to spend more time refining my professional acumen versus trying to overcome them. I tried finding a mentor through the traditional routes, such as networking, but it never fully addressed who I was as a professional, and it never took into account what I was looking for in a mentor and my career goals. I decided that it was time to change to that.
What is the most rewarding aspect of the services your company provides?
Being able to change the lives of future leaders in a way that wasn’t available to me and knowing that I will never be a world leader but I can play a part in changing the life of someone who might be.
How long does the mentee/mentor relationship usually last?
We offer four-month memberships, but most of our members extend their membership for another several months. We provide four months of introductions and coaching, but from there the mentor relationships do last for a very long time even after mentorships expire from the Mentor Method. Because of our expert mentor matching and the fact that we create genuine matches with people that you’d actually want to get along with and have drinks with, the mentors and mentees really enjoy spending time together and learning from one another.
What are the benefits of having a mentor and maintaining that relationship?
Getting that unfiltered, real advice from someone in a concentrated way. There’s also a comfort in knowing that that person is your career ally and that they genuinely want to see you succeed. You are getting that back-and-forth dialogue, building a personal relationship and learning from someone’s stories and experiences. Statistics show that people who are mentored are promoted five times faster and end up making double what people who are not mentored make in the long run.
Networking is one of the only ways to get a job. What is your opinion on that?
There is a difference between networking and mentoring. Networking is great, but when you go to networking events there’s usually a hidden timer in terms of how long you should be having a conversation with someone, whereas mentoring is about creating career allies that will help you through every portion of your career transition. They will spot-check you. They will tell you if you need to change or improve in certain ways to see the career goals that you’ve set for yourself come through.
What were your takeaways from MIT’s Global Bootcamp?
I had genuine excitement for the opportunity to join other leaders and people disrupting various industries. I learned that I was more resilient than I thought I was. I learned how to develop a strong team. I learned how to identify people’s strengths and utilize those to really increase productivity and increase the development of a startup and a company.