No matter what your individual goals are, I think everyone can benefit from forming a relationship with someone who is older and has more experience than them. A mentor could be an upperclassman, a professor, faculty, a family member, a person who has a career you are interested in- anyone you can learn from.
Some great mentors I have had are my academic tutors who not only helped me with my daily assignments, but offered advice about graduate school, study tips, resumes, jobs, professionalism, and even non-academic things such as balancing a social life.
Another mentor who has had an impact on my life is now a graduate from Concordia, but was a senior when I was a freshman. We worked together on the same committee in the Dance Marathon organization on campus and also had the same major. I was just starting out college as she was finishing so she gave me a lot of insight into all that the major entails and what my four years would look like. All of the mentors I have had have inspired me tremendously.
My suggestion? Get one of these! Mentors can be a lot of help.
Sometimes making a connection with someone older or more experienced can be intimidating, but don’t let that stop you. If you have the courage and the confidence to reach out to someone, they will most likely be flattered and more than happy to pass on any wisdom and lessons learned they have accumulated.
A great way to make connections in your field of interest is to stay aware and updated on opportunities, as well as having the confidence to make the move and talk to a possible mentor. A good way to figure out how you can achieve your dreams and goals is to find someone who is already doing what you want to be doing. Why not reach out to them? Find their e-mail address, LinkedIN profile, or if they are coming to campus, make the time to introduce yourself and chat with them.
I have done this many times and each person has opened my eyes in new ways. Recently, I found out that my school was bringing in someone who does what I would like to do, so I showed up early so I could talk to her one-on-one. I told her my major and my interests and how I would like to have a career similar to hers one day. I then asked her the steps she took to get to where she is. Of course, everyone has different journeys, but talking to others can help you figure out the general path you should be headed down. After this brief meeting, she gave me her business card and offered to meet with me again for coffee so that we could talk more. See what I mean when I say they will probably be more than happy to help you?
Also keep in mind that you could be a mentor for someone else. A great way to give back is to help others and pass on the lessons you’ve learned. It’s important to be humble enough to accept help and also give it.
I hope this post inspired you to expand your network and make more connections! You won’t regret it.
Written by: Career Peer Jessica
Let us know what you think: What valuable lessons have you learned from mentors or how have you been a mentor to someone else?