This article is designed for those who are looking to uplevel their business building and development skills. You may be a seasoned career professional, someone looking to pivot their career, or simply highly interested in transitioning into entrepreneurship and the field of virtual business development.
To start off, let’s look at the distinction between mentoring and internship.
Mentoring vs Internship
Mentoring is a collaborative activity done between a mentor and a mentee.
An internship is a type of program to introduce an individual to a company, its culture and potentially offer further opportunities eg. an apprenticeship, a job, or remote work opportunity.
So for example, you can participate in an internship and be assigned a mentor to work with during your internship. This will naturally provide for a more complete and valuable experience, versus an internship without any mentorship.
At our network of companies, the internship is the beginning of a training program with a general overview and introduction into the field of virtual business development in which we integrate business coaching, business consulting, and business development skill sets into an integrated whole. Internships usually last 3 to 6 months and evolve into an apprenticeship (for those that qualify) and then further develop into junior and senior positions within our organization – or into external functions if people leave our company to pursue other interests. For example, if they stay within our company you can become a Business Coach, or a Sales Associates or Business Development Director – or in the case of an external function, you could become a Referrer or Affiliate Partner.
An internship without mentoring can feel like you’re simply doing menial tasks without a larger context or framework for why those tasks are important – or the value they provide to the organization. So, as a general rule, we highly recommend mentoring within an organization so that knowledge transfer proliferates and encourages a culture of sharing, collaboration, and rapid development by radically diminishing learning curves.
Of course, mentoring and internship are distinct and one does not need to do an internship to get mentoring. In fact, more often than not, mentoring exists outside of an internship framework. Mentoring is also useful at virtually any stage of one’s career or development when you want to be able to radically cut your learning curve.
“A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study.”
Directing vs Mentoring vs Coaching: The Difference
So, you may be thinking, what does a mentor actually do? Is it like a coach? Does he or she tell you what to do? Actually, neither of those is completely accurate.
Here’s a way to look at it:
- Directing is telling someone to do something or solving someone’s problems for them.
- Mentoring is offering guidance and showing how something could be done based on their experience.
- Coaching is asking questions and assisting another solve his or her own problems.
As you can see mentoring is in between directing and coaching. It’s a middle ground. Practically speaking mentors provide modeling, challenge you, and are there to assist you with making the big decisions.
Which one will work best for you?
That entirely depends on your situation.
What are your goals? What do you want to achieve?
Getting clear on your goals at the start of your mentoring relationship will ensure you’re well-matched and make for a fruitful outcome.
At the end of the day, what we can say is that mentoring is invaluable to entrepreneurs and business owners. We highly recommend mentorship to our clients as a way to develop themselves and produce results that would otherwise be challenging to produce or near impossible.
And, if you’re interested in an internship at our company please get in touch with us via our contact page.