This was a question asked to me by one of my intern which did not surprise me at all. In fact this was a very important and intelligent question. That brings us to many other questions and one of them is when can the crossover for a learner to a mentor take place?
In my view, learning can never end and being an expert ( i do no agree to calling or being called a expert ) is a relative thing.But I strongly feel you can be a mentor at any stage.
Let me explain. If you give yourself 5 out of 10 in your professional skills, there are people who are below the score of 5. You can teach them what you know.. So you are a mentor to them. As an intern you can motivate people and guide them how to get internship.
In Digital Forensics, Lab Assistant who knows imaging and cloning can teach the interns to do it. So the Lab Assistant is a mentor to the intern. Similarly a Forensic Analyst can mentor a Lab Assistant to carry out Analysis of Cases and a Technical Manager can teach a Forensic Analyst to prepare forensic reports.
Mentorship is like playing a game with many levels. A person who has reached a particular level can mentor a person at a lower level. If you think you will start you journey when you can cross the highest level you will never start itself.
Mentoring is like lending a hand to a person who is a level below you. By doing this you are actually helping in bridging the skill gap in your domain and enhancing the skillets of others. A country like India should work on this model of mentorship.
Lastly a Mentor was once a learner and my sharing his knowledge is also learning form you.