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Finding a Career Mentor

Ask Savvy: How Do I Write an Email to a Possible Mentor?

This reader posted in our Ask Savvy group — she wants to know how to write an email to a possible mentor.

OK, so I don't know if they are going to be my mentor or direct me to someone who can be but I was just having a conversation with a college professor and told her about my love for the arts. She has since asked me if I was in school and I said no. She said that if I like I could have coffee with her sometime and she has a friend in the field that I want to go in so that if I ever want to talk to her I can. It took me for ever to call her and she followed up by telling me that I can email her so that we can set something up to talk. But only if I want to.

She must have sensed my shyness or hesitancy. I want to go back to school but I'm nervous about it, I'm also not super social and don't regularly meet people I don't know for coffee (or even really good friends!) I'm not worried about her being a crazy person but I'm considering taking her up on her offer and I want to make a good impression.

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What should I write in my email? Reintroduce myself? We see each other every so often but I can't speak too freely because it's during work hours. Should I suggest/ask that we meet? And then what? I also look 10 years younger than my age and flunked out of school. I'm embarrassed to have to tell her that and that I am 27 not 19 or 20. Do you think it will matter? If we meet how do I speak with her? I feel like she'll talk about scholarships and I won't qualify because of a low GPA and I don't know much about my field, because I haven't taken any classes in it yet, just that that's what I want to do.

How do I handle this and how do I craft this email? Any links, suggestions or examples?

Ask anything budget-, etiquette-, or planning-related — well, almost anything — by posting your questions in the Ask Savvy group, and I'll find the right expert to help you out.

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