Ron Dunek, a Future Ready Iowa mentor since December 2021, retired from a career in the technology sector where he worked in a variety of roles. Dunek reminisces about the beginning of his career, "I started programming my first computer in 1976 in the Air Force with computers the size of rooms and all the old stuff you always hear about."

Throughout Dunek's career, he has gained a lot of experience in many areas that allow him to be a successful mentor. "I've hired literally hundreds of people over my career and have interviewed probably ten times that and [looked at] even more resumes, so I can help with resume building, how to look at resumes, how to talk to people about the resumes, and how to get across what is really important on resumes," he said. "All the skills around resumes, cover letters, and all that stuff are really helpful."

Dunek currently mentors four different mentees. To be an impactful mentor, he finds it helpful to get to know the person first and then delve into the school and career work. "When we first get together, we just get to know each other and find out what they're trying to do. And so, I really try to keep good notes because I really want to know where they are at on their path," he said.

Dunek has all his mentees take a personality test early on in the mentee/mentor relationship. Dunek explains that it is "not so much so I can relate to them, but so they can relate to themselves and how they can relate to other people. And I find it really valuable."

Dunek also says, "One thing I always do to just start with people is to make sure that we get them connected to me on LinkedIn because I've got hundreds of connections on LinkedIn through my career, so I want to make sure that they can take advantage of that in case they go up to for an internship or a job down the road where I might know somebody."

Dunek has enjoyed his time as a mentor. "The mentees have just been really motivated to get some things done," Dunek said.

He continues that his time as a mentor has also taught him "just how resilient people are." He also finds the process of learning about the person's goals and trying to help them in their journey very rewarding.