I Just Hired a Nearly-70-year-old 'Mentern.'

May 4, 2021

I Just Hired a Nearly-70-year-old 'Mentern.'

May 29, 2023

I was in ‘the valley’ of purpose paralysis. I had been soul searching for 721 days after leaving my big corporate career. I felt flatlined from soul searching and identity shedding, wondering what my next move should be. I thought the C-Suite was my promised land until my corporate ego finally bowed down, and I sent a cold-call email pitch to Chip to be an MEA ‘intern.’

I created a branded pitch document titled ‘The Ultimate Intern of 2020’ and it included phrases like:

‘My purpose in life is to positively impact people’s lives through a sense of belonging in an inclusive world, no matter their age.’

‘My life experiences have reaffirmed the urgency for us to create new narratives around the power and potential of age – and how elevating elder wisdom is more important than ever before. I have been following the Modern Elder Academy with immense admiration, observing MEA writing a new future narrative for our elders.’


I couldn’t believe my luck when Chip replied to my pitch email.

My internship at MEA unfolded my ‘Why’ like perfect origami - I was 34 and ‘crafting my encore career’ with Marci Alboher and fellow Modern Elders. It was here I received the signal, a ‘Baja Aha’ as they called it in Mexico. I was called to elevate and celebrate elder wisdom with the world.

Fast forward a year, and I just hired a nearly 70-year-old ‘mentern.’

Susan and I met at a friend’s birthday lunch - I was instantly attracted to her curiosity, emotional intelligence, and commitment to serve future generations. A true modern elder.

My curiosity peaked when she spoke of her ‘reinventing retirement’ outlook on life. She was calling in a part-time role that, firstly, could provide new avenues of service, secondly, leverage her skills as a retired Silicon Valley software engineer while giving her a new purpose.

She is now the resident 'Mentern' at the WIN|WIN. 'Mentern' is a term coined by Chip in his book “Wisdom at Work” through his experience at Airbnb. It is a unique mentor-meets-intern opportunity for Modern Elders.

My company has been built on the belief that if we can help elders capture and share their life experiences and stories - we can inspire and guide future generations. This is important work based on our need to build bridges across the generations, over divides.

Susan and I meet once a week, and it is a new life highlight for me. We are a dynamic intergenerational team - unpacking business, life, professional, personal, and everything in between.

Susan comes with her beginners mind, wisdom and curiosity combined, which perfectly collides with my entrepreneurial energy and passion towards the value of elder wisdom.

It’s a total win-win relationship. ⠀

Kind of like an episode of 'The Intern' - but better. ⠀

I’m a huge believer in the value of elder wisdom and co-generational collaborations - the transfer of wisdom can flow in both directions. Real joy, fun, and innovation is possible in intergenerational partnerships.

Meeting and collaborating with Susan has reminded me that no matter your age, your curiosity is still alive.

Nim came to MEA in 2020 as an intern committed to serving elders and is the founder of the WIN|WIN - elevating and celebrating elder wisdom to the world.

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