Do you need a mentor? Yes? No? Confused? Don’t worry, we got your back. Read on to find out if you need a mentor and if the answer is yes, how to get one.
Who is a mentor?
A mentor is a person who assists a younger and/or a lesser experienced person with help and advice on how to go about the things in their life. They help students to achieve their personal and professional goals.
Why is there a need to find one?
You’d be surprised by how many people feel lost and directionless at some point of time in their college life.
- Most students step into college with high hopes and goals of getting placed with hefty packages. On graduating, plan for studying a masters program abroad or start their own company. But given so many options in college, they tend to not have a definite path in order to achieve these goals and ultimately feel lost.
- Moreover, students in college also face a situation wherein they put a great deal of effort towards one direction, such as studying long hours, training hard for a favorite sport, preparing for entrance exams or starting a company. Whereas in college, it doesn’t convert into the desired results. Consequently, this creates a doubt in their minds and students find themselves asking ‘Am I putting my time and energy in the right thing?’
This is a vulnerable point where they need someone to give them that extra push to keep going. But most of the times, people give up at this stage because they lack mentorship.
This is where a mentor is critically required to counsel you and help tailor a way for you which makes the path to your goal clearer.
How can a mentor help me?
“A mentor is someone whose hindsight may become your foresight. “
Following are the ways in which a mentor can help you in your college years:
- Giving career advice.
- Giving insights into the requirements of an industry.
- Helps build your network by introducing their colleagues to you.
- Providing internship opportunities. (Click here to know more about internships. Or even better, intern with us)
- Helps you discover more about yourself and your interests.
Moreover, if the mentor sees your efforts, they will also go the extra mile to help you. For example, you could land your dream job, by their recommendations.
Who can be a mentor?
A mentor can be anyone: a senior, one of your college professors, school teachers, parents, an older cousin, or even the CEO of a company, you connected with on LinkedIn.
How do I get a mentor for myself?
Different people have different interests and areas in which they need assistance. So you need to figure out where your interests lie. Look out for a person whom you think has comprehensive knowledge or experience in that field.
Though the methods of searching for a mentor in different fields may vary, some generalized methods for finding the perfect mentor for you are:
- Visiting seminars and exhibitions to network with people! You can always have a look at the list of speakers coming for the seminar, decide which of them intrigue you the most, research about their work and then try to strike a conversation with them at the event.
- Look out for what your seniors are doing in college apart from the curriculum studies by having small talks or acquainting yourself with them. If you find something interesting, stay in touch with them more often and build a mentor-mentee relationship with them.
- Interact with professors whom you find yourself to be comfortable with, whose subjects you find interesting and offer help on their on-going research or project. This will help you strengthen your relationship with them. Moreover, this would make them want to reciprocate with guidance and help you.
The mentor-mentee relationship is built on monthly meetings, weekly lunches or even via regular calls and emails.You need to decide what you want to get out of this relationship and ask accordingly without any inhibitions to the mentor.
Why would a mentor be willing to help me?
You would be surprised to know how many people are willing to help just if someone asks. Mentors love it when they can use their experience to help accelerate the growth of someone else. Moreover, they don’t even have to compete with you! And it gives them an immense amount of joy to see someone succeed because of them.
While a mentor may not be solely responsible for making or breaking your career. But a person who can give you the little push when required or give you the moral support when you feel lost, will definitely give flight to your wings and take you a long way in your personal and professional life.