Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: The Epic Mentor Guide by Illana Raia

The Epic Mentor Guide: Insider Advice for Girls Eyeing the Workforce from 180 Boss Women Who Know by Illana Raia is a book that can be read by everyone, not just girls who are wondering about their future careers. Raia is a Forbes Next 1000 entrepreneur and founder of the mentorship program, Etre. Through Etre, Illana connects girls directly to the leaders they want to meet and encourages them to ask the questions that are really on their mind.

The book features advice from astronauts, news anchors, CEOs, surgeons, engineers, Olympians, Wall Street wizards, world-renowned chefs, fashion designers, award-winning film directors, and more, as they respond directly to girls’ questions. Questions, thankfully, do not focus on educational qualifications but more on professional advice, and sometimes, life in general. For those who want to break into STEM fields, there are many questions that especially pertinent to being a woman in the different male-dominated fields. Other fields/industries include the beauty, modelling, and fashion industry, sports, journalism and broadcasting, digital marketing, automobiles, real estate, architecture, animation, and others.

Some of the answers that I liked are: Ali Kriegsman’s (cofounder and COO of Bulletin) advice on battling imposter syndrome to keep a tally of all the things that I have accomplished and write them down; Anita Bhatia’s (Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy executive Director, UN Women) advice on creating gender-equal workplaces by “eliminating gender pay gaps, supporting women-owned business, and speaking out about the need for change;” Annie Young-Scrivner’s (CEO of Wella Company) advice on how a first job can prepare you to be a CEO through standing in the employee’s shoes, earning respect, and teamwork; Bobbi Brown’s advice on hearing the word ‘no’ to turn it into ‘I can’ by thinking of anew plan or doing something completely different; Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg’s (co-founders of TheSkimm) on expectations by being confident in knowledge, identifying areas of growth and asking questions with intention; Cece Morken’s (CEO of Headspace) advice on work-life balance through bringing your whole self by tending to your whole self, and Tyra Banks’s advice on preparing for meetings as that will make you less nervous, not wasting time, doing your best, and impressing everyone.

This is a recommended book for anyone at any stage of their career, be it a recent graduate, someone who is planning to switch careers (and when do you know is the right time), finding a mentor and forging connections (that can be needed at any stage of a profession), searching for a business partner, or even for someone who is job hunting and wants to know what DEI questions to ask or how to make a good impression.

You can read more about Raia on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram

Rashmila likes to read books by/about women/people of color. She prefers fiction to reality. A dog parent and word ninja, she volunteers for non-profits and is multilingual. Favorite genre- contemporary literary fiction.

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