Learning From Near Peer Coaches and Mentors
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In Chapter 17 of 17 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, hedge fund analyst Shaheen Wirk answers "At This Moment in Your Life, Where Are You Seeking Advice and Coaching?" Wirk talks about the importance of near peer learning relationships in his life. While he notes the importance of having coaches and mentors, including his boss, in general, he points out the value of relationships people can provide who are a few steps but not too many steps ahead of you.


Erik: At this moment in your life, where are you seeking advice and coaching? Shaheen: That’s a great question. That’s a great question and I like it for two reasons. Less for the answer I’m gonna give you about me, but I like it because I think everybody needs someone they seek advice and coaching from, and it’s become like one of my late—my new little mantras, I kind of tell people to get—not a life coach but like a career coach, a mentor, someone they can look up for. So right now, you know, I have—I still have and I’ve always had the highest respect for my boss, I think the world of him, you know, I consider him a friend, and he has done a lot at a young age, he’s smart. And I see little pieces of myself and I’d love say I see big pieces of myself in him, so I still—I seek a lot of advice from him. But then also at this point of my career, I have friends who have done in—you know, I work in—I work at a hedge fund, I’m an analyst, I have friends who’ve gone farther than I have in this business in terms of they’ve launched a hedge fund, or they’ve done whatever. So it’s really interesting to kind of hear how they think about things and why they did what they do or whatever. So it’s—I think this is peer-learning. You’re peer learning, you know? But it is getting harder—I still have people who are ahead of me doing cool things, you know? That I can ask and be like, how did you get here? Or how do you think about things? Or what’s changed? What’s better? What’s worse? What do you like? What would you do different? But certainly the pool shrinks in terms of finding people who you can reach out to, and you can ask about—Good thing is, is that most people, you can go up to anybody and just say, hey, will you be my mentor? Or I’d love to learn from what you’ve done, because it’s so deeply flattering, most people will make time for that. But I think it’s so important to be connected to someone—they don’t have to be older than you, like it doesn’t have to necessarily be an age thing, I think it helps, but they don’t have to be older, but they have to be a little further down the road than you, just—this is what this is all about, isn’t it?