Updated: Jan 14, 2020
There is a great quote by Isaac Newton that says, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Those giants are the mentors that any successful person will tell you has given them the tools and advice to get to wherever they are today. The truth is no one is "self-made." Every single one of us needs someone else to help us go from amateur to expert, because we all start from a place of, simply, not knowing.
Here's the key though: finding mentorship starts with you stepping beyond your comfort zone and reaching out to professors or other organization advisors OUTSIDE of the classroom. As a matter of fact, we want to challenge you to end the semester with at least two professors who you can ask to write strong letters of recommendation.
Today, I am going to share five reasons why finding mentorship in college in not just an option, but a requirement. Enjoy, and leave your thoughts below!
1. Mentors have relationships and connections that you do not have. I am often surprised by the amount of people who forget that a mentor is often a person that has been in the field you want to be in for a very long time. Over that course of time, they have no doubt picked up quite a few contacts- some of which could benefit you.
Why do you think job applications always want a reference and from someone who was your supervisor? They understand that confirming your work ethic with someone more established in the field is important.
The same goes for a mentor. Their relationships can help you find jobs, get internships, or get into graduate programs because they have been longer established.
2. Mentors can help you avoid mistakes.
Why make mistakes that you don't have to make? Mentors have already experienced the things you are going to experience and therefore can help you succeed by avoiding mistakes. Myself and many of my friends have had mentors advise us to avoid a certain job or graduate program because they has some insight that we did not have. It has saved us a lot of frustration, time, and energy being in a place that would not have been good for us.
Let mentors be the buffer between you, and unnecessary mistakes.
3. Mentors will challenge you to be better. I cannot emphasize enough the power of a mentor who pulls out the best in you. My best mentor relationships have been with those people who have seen that I could be or do more than I was doing, and pushed me, with guidance, to enter into spaces I would not have entered on my own.
Quite simply, a mentor will see greatness in you and help you to push past any comfort zones so that you can be your best self! He or she will be established enough in their field that they have no problem helping you usher in the next generation of success.
Whatever your major and whatever your career goals I am going to challenge you to find mentorship. As we said earlier, by the end of this semester, you should have at least two professors that can give you advice about your career, navigating your major, or simply how to find and connect with a certain office on campus.