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So, I posted on my twitter a mention about how you should give back to the community and mentor for BSidesLV 2012. (http://www.securitybsides.com/w/page/51614272/BSidesLV%202012)
But what I really want to bring up is a lesson for those who are wonder if they should apply from a mentee perspective. Now, I know that the application for mentees isn’t quite open yet, but I want to lend some experiences to those who are thinking about it for the future.
Getting a mentor for my first (and second) BSides talks was one of the best things that has ever happened to my speaking career, and heavily impacted other parts of my career as well. You can read a lot more about that on my mentor’s blog here (http://www.securitycatalyst.com/2010/05/where-i-cry-for-help-and-get-more-than-i-could-ever-have-expected/)
And I know that Michael will resist me calling him my mentor, but the lessons he gave me as I walked through my talk was nothing short of staggeringly important. He helped me unlearn a lot of things I had been taught as a speaking style, and helped me develop a way to properly convey my thoughts. Without my mentor, I can almost assure that my talk would have been little more than a boring 30 minute segment at BSidesAustin2010.
And so if you’ve been thinking that you want to find a way to tell people what you’ve got bouncing around in your head, please, please consider applying for the mentee program. I guarantee that the folks who I’ve seen mention that they’re considering mentoring for the conference know their stuff, and the vetting board is nothing short of awesome. Having someone more experienced to bounce stuff off of can do nothing but help you, and it will certainly teach you something.
Keep your eyes on the BSidesLV page for when the mentee part opens up, and start brainstorming your talks!