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It’s time to have a Mentor when..The University of the People Mentorship program


It’s time to have a Mentor when you notice some warning signs:

  • you mix your native language with English
  • you ask your daughter: “how do we say that in Italian?”
  • little crumbs immerse your keyboard
  • you don’t remember the last time you ate at the kitchen table
  • you don’t mind all those strange people going back and forwards from home; oh yes, that’s my family!
  • There’s a little voice yapping away and saying: “why are you working so hard?”. However, you don’t know the answer.

Fortunately, someone knows that response; in my case, teacher Allman intervened and suggested to take part in the Mentorship program. I accepted, then filled the form with indispensable details about me. This is the crux of the positive experience with my Mentor. As a consequence, the organizers of the project found my perfect match. Above all, after your first video call, you will change your mind and your concept of loneliness. It’s difficult to be understood, particularly when you mix your emotions with the loading of the notions of the University courses. At the same time, life flows, your teenager daughter goes crazy and your job is demanding more participation. The alarm warns you: “time management! time management! time management!”.

So, here is the first goal I set with my Mentor. Then we kept working on career choice, together with my shortcomings and my strengths. We ran a search about the job market, in Italy and abroad, then we set a strategy. We worked on my resume and my cover letter and we discovered huge differences between the Italian/European version and the American one. Specifically, I was used to add there some personal details like age, driving license and a photo; however, the US version is more respectful of sensitive data and discrimination. Obviously, the resume also represents a “marketing” instrument, so it has to be grammatically correct. I and Mindy worked on content and grammar and we set another goal: refresh my English grammar. This is why I’m attending some (amazing) English MOOC courses, on edX and Futurelearn; in short, if you’re not an English mother tongue, willi-nilly you have to work harder. “Practice makes perfect”. Do you know how long it’s been, since we started? Totally one year, with 60-90 minute appointments every three-four weeks. If we consider the physical distance, can you realize the power of that?

Background music: “Ring of fire”, by Johnny Cash.

Background music: “Don’t look back in anger”, by Oasis.

Background music: “I don’t wanna miss a thing”, by Aerosmith.

Background music: “Hurricane”, Bob Dylan.

Today, Virgin radio rocks!

Space-invaders (the world famous artist) visited Ravenna and left his amazing works. Image: courtesy of space-invaders (official website here) and thanks to Marco Miccoli for the photo-exchange (official website here).
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3 thoughts on “It’s time to have a Mentor when..The University of the People Mentorship program

  1. We could learn a lot from you and your mentor! Thanks for sharing.


  2. Mirna, what a wonderful post.

    It’s good to get to know more about how the program actually works. I love that you shared some on it. The last couple of months, I have been increasingly looking forward to being part of this exciting experience, which will allow me to develop beyond academics.

    I hope they roll out the next version soon.

    As a side note: Your English seems to have improved tremendously. Good deal, and keep it up!

    All the best,


    • Hi Daniel, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. The Mentorship program was really helpful and I hope the University will offer it again. Also, being helpful means a lot to me.
      Good Luck,


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