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Serving as a Conduit

Kevin Frick is a four-timing contributing writer for En Root, and has written pieces on topics ranging from storytelling, to creativity, to mentorship. His most recent article on the topic of grief and mentorship provides refreshing insights on how loss plays a role in building relationships. We are delighted to interview Kevin in this week's blog Q+A, where we learn a bit more about how he passionately dedicates himself to the art of meaningful mentorship.

This month's theme is all about mentorship. Flipping perspectives just a bit, tell us about your most significant moment as a mentee.

When I was a college sophomore and was taking my first class in a new major, my strongest undergraduate mentor believed in me enough to have multiple conversations and guide me to pick the path of health services research rather than health care administration for my career.

At OutGrowth, we are committed to supporting the growth of future leaders and businesses. What do you think we as individuals and communities can do to carve a path so that others can grow beyond traditional limits? In other words, in addition to mentorship, how else can we support others in our work?

Connect people who need to be connected. In addition to mentoring one individual at a time, I am always thinking about which people in my network belong connected to increase opportunities for both. I serve as a conduit.

Tell us about a pinnacle point or moment in your mentorship journey.

In the spring of 2019, I wrote two letters of nomination for one person I mentored. She was chosen for both awards for which I played a role in nominating her. She eventually received three awards reflecting her early career accomplishments and her involvement in the community for which the ceremonies were all within 24 hours of each other and I was able to attend all three.

How did this experience change the course of your life, your career or your outlook?

It is important to take advantage of every opportunity to promote mentees' accomplishments and to be there to celebrate when they are recognized.

What is a step that each of us can take today to get involved in supporting individuals and businesses as a mentor?

Look for new opportunities to meet people who are younger, who have overlapping interests and who are outside of my normal comfort zone of being in the same organization

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to your younger self, when you first started mentoring, what would it be?

You know enough to be helpful. Don't hesitate.

What is your favorite quote or song lyric?

From New Mutants Vol 1 No 45, "You want to know who I am? I’m Katherine Pryde. That’s the only thing that matters. The rest are just labels.”

Based on your mentorship experience, what are the top three career competencies that you believe can be gained/developed as a result of building a dynamic mentor/mentee relationship?

Resilience, narrative building, networking

What's next? What are your next steps toward growth in 2021?

Defining how I can not just be a mentor and write about it, but also give presentations and build programs to help others mentor as well.

Kevin is a health economist and professor and Vice Dean for Education at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. He has been actively involved in the Johns Hopkins University community since joining the faculty in 1996. In addition to teaching, research, and mentoring, he enjoys running and writing poetry.


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