My WIF Mentoring Circle has pretty much come to an end. My group had a lunch meeting this past week and the mentors announced that this would most likely be our last gathering. We might have one more in the fall, but we have been told that we can apply for new mentoring circles when applications are being accepted again.
I had gone into the mentoring circle experience with really high hopes. Since Women In Film could no longer match mentees with their own mentors, they hoped that these circles would create a little community where all the mentees could help and support each other.
The first meeting of my mentor circle had about 10 mentees (plus our 2 mentors). But after that first meeting, there was only one other mentee who attended all the meetings. There was another mentee who attended all but this last one, but she is based in NYC and is about 7 months pregnant and unable to travel now. But she still joined us by phone to join in on the conversation.
Pretty much everyone else who attended that first meeting never came back for another meeting. It was a little disappointing. I was totally looking forward to getting to know the other women and to see how we could all help each other reach our goals. I believe that over the other meetings, there were 2 women who each showed up for one meeting. But 5 women never came back at all.
I didn’t get to know those 5 women really at all. But the 2 women who were there at pretty much every meeting I did get to know. And I keep in touch with them both outside of the meetings. I share my successes with them and they share theirs with me. If my entire group (or even half of my group) were filled with women like these 2, I would have zero complaints about the mentoring circle.
But I am going to apply for another one. I’ve talked to a few people who were in other mentoring circles and they did not have as high of an absence rate as my group did. Also, their groups did meet 6 times within 12 months (which is what the application for the groups said we would do). My group met 3 times within the year plus this 4th time after the one year mark had passed.
I don’t want to say that my group was a dud. That’s not it at all. I did meet amazing women and I’m so grateful that both of my mentors have said that I can always come to them for advice. I just wish that I had gotten to know other women who are in the same spot in their career as I am. I wish that I had more chances to get to know the women in my group.
I think I can apply for a new group in the fall or near the end of the year. As soon as I can turn in an application, I will. And hopefully my next mentoring circle will be everything that I am hoping for.