A guest post by mentor Miriam Rupp.
When I first heard about the Berlin Geekettes Mentorship program I gladly joined as a mentor and am very happy with the mentee they matched with my profile. I applied not only because they promote the idea of women in the tech industry supporting each other. But even more so because mentorship opportunities and frameworks are very rare within the startup industry, for neither female nor male participants.
If we look at the positive side first, the benefit of the startup environment is the vast number of specialized conferences, barcamps, and networking events. They make it possible for anyone interested to gain a lot of knowledge and inspiration from other experts’ experiences. Also, on the entrepreneurial level, investors and business angels oftentimes serve as mentors for aspiring founders.
But what about the Marketing Ninjas or SEO Rockstars or other talents in the fields of coding, social media, product development, etc., who work as employees in all those startup teams? And what about upcoming founders whose network has not reached the aforementioned potential mentors yet? Or people like myself, whose own business is running rather independently from investors and advisors?
What big companies like Google have embraced in their corporate culture – i.e. internal mentorship programs – is hardly possible for startups. The lack of hierarchies and a fragmented landscape of a huge variety of companies with rather small and young teams make it very difficult for high potentials to find mentors. For people who want to take their personal development and their career into their own hands, finding someone who can give useful advice for very individual questions and goals can be quite a challenge. Not to mention approaching those potential mentors once you have identified them.
That’s why I believe that organized programs like the Geekettes Mentorship program, that reach and connect people across companies and fields of expertise, play an essential role in bringing mentorship culture to the next level. I am more than curious to learn how my experiences will be helpful to someone else’s career decisions and strategies. On the other hand, I also believe that this very close and confidential exchange of thoughts and ideas will help me in evaluating my own strategies. And I hope that within the next couple of months and years we will see more and more of those programs, not only for women.
About Miriam Rupp / CEO and Founder of Mashup Communications (www.mashup-communications.de): Miriam Rupp, a true Berliner, found her destination in public relations for online startups right after university. After two years of being the main point of contact for PR clients like Last.fm or MyVideo, and at the age of 24, she decided to found the PR agency Mashup Communications. „Our vision is to be the first choice for the best entrepreneurs of the digital generation by making sure that they get the perfect PR performance on all national and international media stages.“ This fundament as well as the support of Co- Managing Director Nora Feist allows her to manage the company and her clients from the other side of the world by now. For two years now she has been regularly commuting between Berlin and Cape Town.