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David Garwin – Meet the Mentor

Hello, I'm David, a dedicated coach and mentor since 2016. I have a profound passion for providing one-on-one assistance to individuals in realizing their goals.
David Garwin

Senior Software Engineer, Reddit

Why did you decide to become a mentor?

My journey as a mentor began years ago, out of necessity, during my first post-college job at New York University. At NYU, our team consisted primarily of student developers, full of enthusiasm but requiring professional guidance. This became a recurring theme in my career, where I consistently found myself directing developers eager to learn and contribute. In the midst of the pandemic, I relocated from New York City to Virginia, seeking a fresh start professionally and personally. After settling into my new environment, I yearned to expand my professional network. Despite having many experienced connections, I noticed a lack of diversity in my network. The idea of mentoring as a side career sparked, and I discovered MentorCruise! Through mentoring, I have the privilege of meeting incredible people from various life stages, making a meaningful impact individually, and supplementing my income!

How did you get your career start?

My introduction to programming came when I was 17 and still in high school. I casually shared with my math teacher, Ms Chiu, my fascination for computers, but expressed my inability to enroll in the programming elective due to time constraints. Unmoved by my teenage excuses, she took it upon herself to register me for the class. I was initially disgruntled, but I soon fell in love with programming, appreciating the ability to create something valuable from scratch. Post Ms Chiu, my most influential mentor, who significantly shaped my programming perspective, was my friend and manager at NYU, Pi. As friends before colleagues, he provided me with frank feedback. His meticulous code reviews and rigorous interview techniques were pivotal in setting a high standard for myself and others in my professional journey.

What do mentees usually come to you for?

Mentees usually approach me to secure their first tech job, obtain a role at a dream company, or excel in their present position. Irrespective of their goals, all mentees require a tangible objective necessitating mentorship or coaching. My mentorship approach remains consistent. It starts with an initial introductory call, during which mentees discuss their journey and aspirations. I then present my offerings, expertise, and how I envision our collaboration. If we decide to proceed, we establish measurable objectives for the next 1-6 months. Subsequently, over the following months, we maintain contact via text and occasional video calls to ensure the fulfillment of the set goals.

What’s been your favourite mentorship success story so far?

My most memorable mentorship involved a friend of mine, who we’ll refer to as B. Our mentorship commenced after he had been searching for employment for about a year post-college without success. We met roughly once a month, dedicating our sessions to LeetCode problems since he struggled with passing interviews despite securing them. Our sessions were challenging, as B had to relearn problem-solving while I had to figure out the best approach to facilitate that. After several months, B received his first job offer, a position that paid $70k and started in four weeks. While thrilled, he had his sights set on bigger things. Determined to strive for more, he continued with the interviews he had lined up, including one at his dream company. With a reasonable offer on hand, we continued our preparation. Ultimately, he received an offer from his dream company, with a compensation of over $180k, more than double his initial offer.

What are you getting out of being a mentor?

The most rewarding aspect of mentorship for me is the opportunity to meet and learn from a diverse array of individuals. Each mentee brings unique life experiences, professional circumstances, and perspectives to our interactions. Facilitating their success compels me to expand my horizons and gain new insights about myself and the world, acknowledging that no two individuals are identical. The profound satisfaction I derive from engaging in genuine one-on-one conversations and making a meaningful impact in their lives is beyond words.

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