A couple of weeks ago we had our first training of the pilot mentorship programme. This training was given by Elsemiek Meijs, one of our role models and mentors, with the theme “Who am I?”. “Who am I” is a very important question because knowing who you really are helps you find your qualities, interests and what you want to do after finishing your studies. Finding out what we want to do and where to work after university is a question on the top of the minds of the mentees, which they are currently trying to answer through this program.
In a short but powerful 3 hour session, Elsemiek taught us about the theory behind knowing your true self. Looking at the theory on personal blue prints, lifelines and anchors makes you think about what those mean and how it might look like for you. After our dive into the theory, Elsemiek gave us a small exercise to do in pairs where we presented what scared and excited our buddy about entering the jab market. The time limit gave us an additional push to ask good and to the point questions to really challenge the other to think and clarify their line of reasoning. Not only did it give us to opportunity to practice how to be a good listener and presenter, but it also helped me to speak out about my fears, which is not something you do very often.
After a small break we continued with a longer exercise, we were asked to talk about our childhood in pairs. In the beginning, the exercise seemed very simple and trivial such that most of us did not expect it to have a significant impact. As we went along, simple questions such as, “what was your role in your family” and “what did you like as a child” brought up very meaningful and valuable conversations. Many of the mentees said it was very helpful to talk about these kind of things with someone that is not that close to you, because it allows you to think about your situation from broader perspective. Also, remembering who you were as a child makes you reflect on which characteristics you lost and gained growing up. All in all, these conversations passed by too fast and left me pondering over the topics raised quite often in the past few weeks.
As a final group exercise we watched a few fragments about women handling specific situations. It was very interesting to have to pay close attention to the fragments and pick up on certain messages that were given. This taught the group the importance of being respectful in a confrontation as an example. All together we learned a lot this afternoon but most of all it helped us taking steps in finding out who we are and what we want to do in the future.