How to Be a Stellar Mentor or Advisor: Three Key Tips

Being a good mentor or advisor is one of the most rewarding roles you can take on in your professional life. Not only do you get to share your knowledge and experience, but you also have the chance to shape the careers and lives of others in meaningful ways. Here are three main points to help you excel as a mentor or advisor.

1. Listen More Than You Speak

One of the biggest mistakes mentors make is talking too much and not listening enough. To truly help your mentees, you need to understand their unique challenges, goals, and perspectives. Active listening involves paying full attention, asking thoughtful questions, and providing feedback that shows you understand their situation.

  • Practical Tip: Start each mentoring session by asking open-ended questions like, “What challenges are you facing this week?” or “What are your top goals for this month?” This encourages your mentee to share more and helps you tailor your advice to their needs.

2. Provide Honest and Constructive Feedback

Constructive feedback is crucial for growth, but it needs to be delivered in a way that’s both honest and supportive. Sugarcoating feedback can lead to complacency, while overly harsh criticism can demotivate your mentee. Strike a balance by being clear about areas for improvement while also recognizing their strengths and accomplishments.

  • Practical Tip: Use the “sandwich method” for feedback: start with something positive, address the area for improvement, and finish with encouragement. For example, “You’ve done a great job on this project. One area to work on is time management, but I know with your dedication, you can master this.”

3. Be a Role Model and Lead by Example

Mentees look up to their mentors not just for advice but also as role models. Demonstrate the qualities you want to instill in them, such as integrity, dedication, and a continuous learning mindset. Your actions often speak louder than your words.

  • Practical Tip: Share your own experiences and challenges openly. Talk about times you’ve faced difficulties and how you overcame them. This not only makes you more relatable but also provides real-life examples of problem-solving and resilience.


Being a mentor or advisor is about fostering a supportive relationship that encourages growth, learning, and development. By listening actively, providing balanced feedback, and leading by example, you can make a lasting impact on your mentee’s career and personal growth. Remember, the goal is to empower them to reach their full potential and navigate their professional journey with confidence.

By integrating these practices into your mentoring approach, you’ll not only enhance your mentee’s development but also find immense satisfaction in watching them succeed. Happy mentoring!

Free Learning from Intertech’s Technical Education Division

Times are changing and at Intertech, we’re helping our customers stay on top of the latest developments.  Last week, we held our first live online Summit Series presentation.   Designed with the goal to keep you engaged and on the leading edge, our new Summit Series presentations are just one of the ways we are working to support our customers in every way possible.

First Up,  Using The New Angular 9 Features Was A Success And Well Attended!

First up on the Summit Series topic deck: How To Use The New Angular 9 Features.  Angular 9 includes many new additional tools to help create applications more efficiently with a smaller memory footprint. Whether you are creating a new Angular application or update an existing one, this presentation highlighted many of the new features that should not be overlooked

We kicked off the presentation by talking about Angular versioning and the best practices for updating an Angular website. Then we looked at what Ivy is and why it is so important to Angular. We also discovered the new testing tools and new ways to manage service instances for better reusability and lifetime control. Also covered were the improved in-browser debugging tools. The updates to CSS-bind with Angular 9 were shown with new support for i18n international standards. We wrapped up with a brief look a couple of new Angular controls for hosting YouTube and Google Maps content.

Missed It? We’ve Got You Covered

Missed the presentation? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  Download the slide deck from our presentation for a recap of the live online event.  Questions? Reach out to us! We’re here to take the worry out of software development.Download Slide Deck

About Intertech

Founded in 1991, Intertech delivers software development consulting and IT training to Fortune 500, Government, and Leading Technology institutions. Learn more about us. Whether you are a developer interested in working for a company that invests in its employees or a company looking to partner with a team of technology leaders who provide solutions, mentor staff, and add true business value, we’d like to meet you. 

Summer Training Discounts with Intertech


If you work in software development, you can advance your career this Summer by taking advantage of discounted rates on some of Intertech’s most popular dev classes. Through September 2015, earn up to a $500 Amazon Gift Card* or up to $500 off the price of each class registration for any Intertech training class*. Class must be taken by end of September and registered for by August 31st, 2015.

Intertech Announces STEM Scholarship (Post 2 of 2)

STEM-Logo-300x178Second of two blog posts in this series

Last time I shared news about Intertech’s new philanthropic focus on science and technology learning. I also mentioned the new $2,500 scholarship being funded by the Intertech Foundation for an aspiring computer science freshman college student. And I promised to delve more deeply into the topic of computer science careers.

First, some facts:

  • Nine out of the 10 “Best Jobs for 2014” fell into the STEM category (science, technology, engineering and math), according to and
  • Software engineer and computer systems analyst ranked 7th and 8th with midlevel income listed as $93,350 and $79,680 respectively. Among the reasons for their high rank: low stress, great work environment and positive job outlook.
  • If these jobs are among the best paying, with the lowest stress and strongest job outlook, why is there a shortage of qualified programmers for companies like Intertech to hire?

Now for the truly weird part, at least to me! According to recent news reports, there is no lack of qualified people to fill these jobs—software engineers in particular.

“What STEM Shortage?”, an article in the National Review (5/20/14), states that “the sector isn’t seeing wage growth and has more graduates than jobs.” This article cites reports by the Economic Policy Institute, The RAND Corporation, the Urban Institute and the National Research Council. The Atlantic magazine also has a piece this month, “The Myth of the Science and Engineering Shortage,” that bears checking out.

It’s difficult to argue with such formidable sources, but it’s also hardly a secret that there’s a shortage of outstanding software engineers in Minnesota. Intertech employs several full-time recruiters who beat the proverbial bushes with vigor to find and engage them. We also work hard to be a great place to work and have received three awards this year alone validating our efforts. But still we struggle to find enough high caliber people to fill these excellent positions.

Could the disconnect be due to our high expectations? Simply having a degree in a STEM-related field does not automatically qualify someone to work here. I suspect this is true at other companies in Minnesota as well. This is why our new scholarship has some unusual criteria for someone interested in computer science, including:

  • A one-page essay describing how the student hopes to participate in the professional software development industry.
  • Two letters of recommendation, including at least one from a science or math teacher who knows the student well.
  • A resume describing academic, extracurricular and employment experience.
  • Description of any involvement in the FIRST Robotics program (not a requirement but it does mean extra points in our scoring process).

Why all the hoops if the student has good grades, a strong GPA and interest in programming? We want to cultivate well-rounded professionals who not only understand how to code, but also can communicate verbally and in writing. We want to hire people who can work with others and are not afraid to raise their hand and get involved. In other words, we want leaders with strong technical skills.

That’s a tall order but if we don’t set the bar high, who will? Some have opined that cultivating U.S. students with strong technology and leadership skills not only has implications for workforce development, but also for national security concerns and immigration policy. I’ll leave those global issues to the think-tank leaders to sort out, even as I remain passionately committed to the development of the next generation of technology leaders. Our clients expect the best and we intend to keep delivering it!