How I’ve been tackling the tricky task of finding a mentor

If cold emailing isn’t your thing, don’t sweat it. There are alternative ways to go about finding a mentor, some of which I’m currently experimenting with.

Mentorship is important to me as I feel I’d benefit from it not just in terms of professional growth, but personal development too. 

Yet the question of how to go about finding a mentor has been an ongoing struggle. I still haven’t really been successful in finding one, despite all the dos and don’ts I’ve read on the topic.

One tip is to approach someone who’s already familiar with your personality and abilities rather than a stranger. But what if you don’t feel anyone in your network would be a natural fit as your mentor? 

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The problem with asking “what do you do?”

Me in 2011 on top of the Devil’s Marbles, a rock formation in the Australian Outback.

Lots of people have written about the importance of not letting your job title define you and I am finally chiming in. After recently reading the blink of a book called Minimalism, which argues among other things that each person is far more than just her profession, I realized I myself am guilty of asking people I meet the annoying question, “what do you do?”

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Özil, national identity and why I’m disappointed in Germany

Mesut Özil. Photo: DPA

While I don’t believe what Mesut Özil did was smart, the deed is done. The star footballer didn’t think anything of having his photo taken with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, a month before he was due to represent the German national team in the 2018 World Cup.

Born in Germany to Turkish parents, the midfielder refrained from immediately commenting on the controversial photos. Instead he chose to do so after Deutschland crashed out of the World Cup in the group stage and the tournament ended.

In a series of tweets responding to the nationwide backlash, Özil announced his retirement from international football after criticism of his performance, citing “racism and disrespect” from the media, fans, politicians and the high-profile German football federation.

“I am German when we win but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Özil said, before going on to question, “I was born and educated in Germany, so why don’t people accept that I am German?”

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Are people from certain countries more likely to be denied German student visas?

Students in Tübingen. Photo: DPA

In spite of receiving admission offers from universities in Germany, Arbab Mazhar’s student visa was rejected twice by the German embassy in Islamabad. The Pakistani man is not alone in his experience.

When Arbab Mazhar got accepted on a Bachelor programme at a German higher education institution back in 2011, he had no idea that it would be years until he was finally granted a visa to study in Deutschland.

Mazhar told The Local that his rejections were “totally unfair” and initially “very disappointing” since he fulfilled all the necessary requirements and submitted the mandatory documents.

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