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The ABCs Of Mentoring – Why Be One?

Vishnu Prasad, who works closely with Venturesity to provide mentorship to budding professionals, took to his passion quite early. Even during his days in engineering college, Prasad spent his free hours mentoring fellow students. And when he joined the workforce, he saw a greater need for mentorship in the tech community. Through his initial years as a Machine Learning specialist to his current role as Data Scientist at Happiest Minds, Prasad continues to inspire tech talent. Here’s an interview excerpt where he shares valuable tips on mentoring:

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Q: Why did you take up mentoring?

 

A: I was always interested in mentoring since my college days. And when I joined the workforce, I continued to be associated with Open Source technology. I am a strong believer in it and I think that knowledge sharing is important to the growth of technology. Working with startups, I also realised that there was a dearth of good talent coming right out of college. In my previous companies, in Chennai and Coimbatore, I used to mentor at colleges. But after coming to Bangalore, I have teamed up with Venturesity for their mentorship programmes.

 

Q: Why do you think mentoring is important?

 

A: I feel there is a problem with the education system. It only prepares students for the next examination and not for practical purposes. I find that many students, just out of college, don’t even know how to apply basic principles in programming. This is where, I feel, that mentorship can bridge the gap.

 

Q: What are the skills that you focus on during your sessions?

 

A: In the early days,  I used to focus on Machine Learning. But I have now branched out into Python, Spark and other languages too.

 

Q: What do you think aspiring mentors should know before they begin mentoring?

 

A: It needs to be more than a job. You need to be passionate about teaching and everything that goes with it. Also, I think it’s important to be open to learning yourself. While preparing for a mentorship programme, you will be learning plenty yourself.

 

Q: What is the best part about mentoring?

 

A:  I am happiest when I see students building something awesome with the skills I have taught them. That’s an amazing feeling!

 

Q: What is a piece of advice you’d give to aspiring mentors?

 

A: Go ahead and do it! Even if you are not too sure, if you have the passion for it, go for it. Also, always listen to the feedback you get. It’s important.

 

Interested in being a mentor? At Venturesity, we’re always on the lookout for talented and passionate individuals for our events through the year. If you wish to know more, drop us an email at paras@venturesity.com.

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Navya D'Souza

Navya is a Bangalore-based freelance writer. She’s a food loving, celebrity-obsessed, wise owl whose feathers you’ll find very hard to ruffle. In her short life, she has also managed to convince a few people and herself that she’s a hoot!