In a city as fast-moving as Beijing, sometimes we choose quantity over quality of professional relationships. During the narrow windows of networking, we never forget to hand out business cards to new acquaintances. But what about having meaningful conversations and building long-term relationships?
Here is what my mentees at the CTC-YCW Mentorship Program taught me about making genuine connections, for both professional and personal purposes.
When I first met Soyeon, my assigned mentee, I was impressed by her ability to do what she loves tirelessly. She loves Chinese culture, international relations and meeting new friends. She has lots of interesting stories that reflected a great amount of passion for life and was open to sharing them with me. I believe this made a huge difference to our catch-ups eventually leading to higher productivity in our relationship.
I was also approached by Jing-Jing, who although I was not her mentee, had big-picture career questions that she wanted my advice on. She also connected me with her mentor because we work in similar fields. From Jing-Jing, I learnt that being formal is not always necessary. Mentees and mentors can maximise the benefits of the mentorship program if we proactively identify people whom we want to bond with. Kudos to the Kevin and Olivia who have enabled an environment, through regular dinners and events, to grow these relationships organically!
Peggy Tse works at the manufacturing, agribusiness and services investment team of International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group in Beijing. She is also a director of the Health Impact Fund. Previously, Peggy was an equity product specialist at Goldman Sachs.