Why do you need a mentor: an interview with Anton Serikov, Deputy General Director of ANO “Russia – the Land of Opportunities”

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How a mentor can help in professional and personal development, why the Internet and social networks will never replace a mentor, why specialists become mentors – we asked Anton Serikov, Deputy General Director of the ANO “Russia – a Land of Opportunities”, to answer these and other questions, as part of the podcast How is this possible? ‘.

Now any information can be found on the Internet in a couple of clicks. Why do you need a mentor?

A mentor provides something that neither YouTube nor the Internet will ever provide – an emotional story and communication. The emotional component, when you communicate with a mentor and he is drawn into your life, reacts to the events that take place in it, is the main thing. Any contact, any of our activity adds up to a large social capital, which will be useful sooner or later. You can read how to get started, but no search engine will be able to respond in the process of your further changes, and a mentor just helps in every period of life and watches how you change.

Tell us more about your experience with a mentor. How did he help you?

I passed the Leaders of Russia competition and received a mentor from Yaroslav Ivanovich Kuzminov, rector of the Higher School of Economics. A very interesting person with great knowledge of public administration infrastructure and other subject areas. For me it was very valuable. I remember how I met him at the finals of the Leaders of Russia contest. Then he told me: “I liked you, I’m ready to be your mentor.” I replied: “But for this I need to win the competition, and only then can this be done according to the rules.” And he said: “If you are interested in me, then no one will prevent us from communicating, it does not depend on whether you win the competition or not. Know that you will come to Moscow and you have a mentor.” And so it happened, we talked with him for a long time, our last meeting was at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum a few months ago.

The connection between the mentor and the mentee is not lost. It is clear that top-level mentors are very busy, it is hard for them to find time in their schedule for communication, but the emotional component remains. Mentors, like teachers, are happy to meet their students on the street, because they pass on knowledge to them and become emotionally attached to them.

What advice from your mentor was defining?

There were many tips, they were related to professional activities. At that moment, I was entering the civil service in the presidential administration after a long work at the Southern Federal University. Then the mentor gave me good advice. He said that it is very important to maintain your expertise so that you are not just an official, a specialist who organizes events or controls processes, but an expert in a certain field, whom you can turn to for recommendations.

Why would a mentor waste his time explaining something to someone?

I know of several reasons why people want to become mentors. One of them is the motive of recognition, when you realize that you are already becoming an expert: they hear you, it is interesting to communicate with you, your recommendations help. Also, in the modern economy and at the level of government, communication and feedback are very important. It may seem that mentoring is a one-sided story: you give advice but get nothing in return. However, you can ask for feedback on projects from the mentee, to look at your ideas from a different angle. In addition, I personally received a lot when I was a mentor to young colleagues. Often, doing your daily work, you look at the world from one angle, so it is important that someone help you see the surrounding reality through the eyes of a student, young specialist or a resident of a completely different region of our country.

If the interview was useful to you and you want to listen to the full version of the podcast, then choose any convenient platform and follow the link: Google Podcasts , Yandex Music , Apple Podcasts , SoundCloud , Castbox .