It’s hard to stand out in the localization industry, but you’re not alone! The TLM Mentorship Program can help current students and junior localization professionals build connections within the community. Below are some reasons why to consider signing up as a mentee:
- Connect with 2nd-years about school life
Get advice on how to ace (or survive) classes, or what you can do to get the most out of your time at MIIS.
- Learn about MIIS resources: career fairs, Handshake, CACS, etc.
What the heck are these, and how do they help me get an internship? Believe me, we’ve been there, too. Reach out to 2nd years with your ideas and worries, and find a treasure trove of knowledge.
- Learn about different career paths
Talk to your mentor about your career questions, ideas, and concerns. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of potential career moves before making an informed decision.
- Increase your confidence and awareness
Talking to people who actively work in the industry may give you new perspectives. Ask if your mentor can assist in goal-setting, or help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing how others view you, compared to how you view yourself, is a valuable opportunity to learn and improve. You can get used to receiving feedback and decide how to leverage it to work toward your ideal self.
- Expand your professional network
Upperclassmen and alumni have networks from their time at MIIS and/or professional years in localization. They can become your potential contact points, co-workers, or even supervisors when you start your career. Developing connections early on is an integral part of getting on the right path, and securing the next opportunity. Who you know can be just as important as what you know.
How to be a good mentee
Establish a positive relationship with your mentor, which starts with being proactive. Reach out to your mentor first when you want to talk, do not wait for them to contact you. You want to show them you are driven to learn and improve, and are able take initiative.
You may have some personal goals, such as finding a post-grad job, but be advised that it is not your mentor’s responsibility to find you a job. Your mentor is an advisor who helps you figure out your next steps, not a recruiter.
How to meet
You will be mutually responsible for establishing the method(s) of communication and maintaining the relationship. We recommend bi-weekly 30 minute meetings, but you should customize it based on your schedules. There are many other ways that don’t necessarily involve meeting in person or via video – you can message each other via email, Teams, another messaging service, or a combination of any of these. Work with your mentor to establish communication channels and boundaries early on.
- Learn about your mentor’s internship/job experience
- Talk about what you hope to learn while at MIIS
- Get advice on skills to learn, or recommendations for skill-building resources and certifications
- Get help with establishing personal goals, and track them over the course of the program
- Ask how your mentor would handle certain situations (things you’ve experienced at school/work, or things you anticipate happening)
- Review your resume or do practice interviews
- Get feedback on your presentations/public speaking skills
- Discuss L10N articles, webinars, or events and your thoughts on them
- If you share a non-English language, practice speaking or writing with your mentor
Of course, mentoring isn’t all about career or education advice. You should do fun things together as well! A strong mentor-mentee relationship is built on trust and personal connection, much like friendship. Some things you can do for fun include:
- Play a game or watch a movie together online
- Meet up for a socially-distanced coffee
- Go for a walk together (taking the appropriate health and safety precautions)
- Talk about pets, hobbies, music, travel, etc.
- Make a playlist together
- Recommend or discuss books
- Do a workshop/class you’re both interested in
- Do arts and crafts, such as origami or painting
To learn more, here are some great places to start!
Takashi Kamiiriki on Mainichi
Anonymous on Audubon Zoo