3 Steps to Getting the Most Value from Mentor Office Hours in Labs
Office hours in Labs are an opportunity to get one-on-one advice and feedback from an industry expert. The mentors brought in for office hours cover every aspect of launching and growing a startup, from venture capitalists to legal experts to marketing leaders. To help you make the most of your time with these experts, the Labs team has put together a few simple but necessary steps to take before you sign up and meet for your session.
Step 1. Research the mentor
Both your time and the mentor’s time are valuable, and you need to research the mentor before you sign up. (The office hours invitation and description includes a link to the mentor’s LinkedIn profile.) Does their background and experience match with a current need you have in your business? Do you already have questions you want to ask them? You want to know what value they hold for your startup before you sign up. If the mentor is a branding expert or a startup accountant, but your branding and finances are squared away and you have no immediate questions for the mentors, these office hours may not be useful for you. On the other hand, if you need public relations help and the mentor has experience in PR, make sure you sign up so you can get help securing the media coverage you’ve been looking for.
Step 2. Make a list of questions and discussion points
This is the most important step in the office hours prep process. You should know exactly what you want to get out of the session before you sign up. If you go into office hours with no specific questions to ask or requests to make of the mentor, it’s unlikely to be a meaningful session. The mentors are best suited to help when you have a list of things you want to focus on, so prior to meeting, create a list of questions, requests for input, advice, or introductions, or other items you want the mentor’s help with. You’ll make better use of both your time and the mentor’s expertise.
Step 3. Share your list with your Labs manager
Once you’ve created your list of questions for the mentor or items you’d like to discuss during the session, email them to your Labs manager so they can share it with the mentor. Combined with the information the Labs manager sends the mentor about your company before you meet, this will make the session much more efficient, first by eliminating the need to spend valuable time walking the mentor through what you do, and second by allowing the mentor to think about your requests ahead of time and come prepared with responses or suggestions. Finally, make sure you bring your list with your to office hours.
After your office hours session
Always thank the mentor for their time, both at the end of your session and afterwards via email. If you and the mentor decided on action items to follow up on after the session, be sure to send them updates. Finally, fill in the session feedback form you’ll receive via email after the session—this provides Labs with valuable insights that help us continually improve on your experience as a member.
Here are two more articles that will help you make the most of your time in WeWork Labs: