How Do I Find a Business Analyst Mentor?

Reader’s Question:

I have been working in the medical and spa industry for over 10 years. It seems every position I have involves some BA type duties from rewriting policy and procedure manuals to doing efficiency studies. I need to find a mentor to assist me in turning all this random experience into a BA career. I feel like I have the skills and the desire, even a natural aptitude; I just need some direction. I hope that you can help me with this. I feel like I’m wasting my potential.

Aaron’s reply:

Don’t mistake your “random” experience as just jobs because each of those experiences is a stepping stone to your Business Analysis career.  It is up to you to take charge of your career and drive it in the direction that you wish. I have done so and have been driving my personal career into the business analysis arena for the past several years.

There is no single way or roadmap to develop a business analysis career; each of us got here from different starting points and on different paths.  Some have come from the business side of the organization and others have come from the technology side.  The fact that the reader is requesting a mentor to assist them in developing their career shows that they are ready to take charge of their career and drive it in their desired direction, and not that of whichever job or task may come their way at any point of time.

Some ways to find a valuable mentor:

Look for a Business Analyst Mentor Inside Your Organization

The best mentors may be ones that you can meet with on a face-to-face basis and that you have access to on a daily or weekly basis.  Look for someone in your organization that exhibits the characteristics you would like to develop.  Look for someone that the rest of the organization considers the “go-to guy” when it comes to solving business problems.  This is not to say that a “virtual” mentor would not add value; and it really depends on the type of help for which you are looking.  A mentor that “sees” your work habits and interactions with stakeholders will be in a better position to give you work experience advice.

Look  for a Business Analyst Mentor in the Community

Another great place to find a mentor for career advice is in the business community.  They are still local and know that community in which you wish to develop your career.  One of the best places to find a mentor in your business community is in your local IIBA® chapter.  Connect with your local chapter and get to know other BAs within your local community.

Look for a BA that is active within the chapter and others go to for answers and advice.

Look for a Business Analyst Mentor Online

There are BAs that write many of the articles and blogs dedicated to helping professionals get started in a business analysis career or continue developing their career.  Stay abreast of the information these mentors create here on Bridging the Gap, or on,,,, and more.  

There are also individuals that will mentor new BAs virtually, such as our own Doug Goldberg, who gives advice over the internet to those individuals who seek him out.  They can give you the advantage of their years of BA experience.

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1 thought on “How Do I Find a Business Analyst Mentor?”

  1. I certainly agree with Aaron’s first comment. If you are doing business analysis, then you are a business analyst. I have been a BA since 1999, but never had Business Analyst as my job title.

    To the original reader, I would ask how established business analysis is in your current organization. If it has a good foothold, that is great news and where you should start. If not, it is up to you to raise awareness about BA within your organization. The references that Aaron sited can help you with this as well.

    Finally, you may decided that the position you want does not and will not exist in your organization. If you have to make a move, the key is networking and having a clear picture of what you want and what you can provide. You can tailor your resume to highlight the BA work that you have done, even if you don’t have the title. Those of us hiring BAs are used to seeing this.

    Good luck and don’t give up!

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