Being connected with someone who is in your professional field while you’re a student is the prime time to develop a mentor/mentee relationship. Here’s my story about why I believe all college students should find a mentor before they graduate. Written by Juliet Rocco
October 2011: I was sitting in on a presentation given by a woman named Patti who worked in the marketing department for a large company. I was hearing her story about the obstacles she had to overcome while going back to school later in life to complete her MBA. I left the presentation feeling very inspired and hoped I would be in contact with her again.
Reaching out: After the presentation, I thanked her and she gave everyone business cards. I reached out within the next day to ask if she would have the time to become my mentor and help me with my internship search process. We set up monthly meetings to go over resume fixes, recommendation letters, application processes and interviews.
I have learned to appreciate the opportunities that I have been given and the most important choices are my own. Having a mentor has helped guide me in the right direction, keep faith and stay confident in this difficult job market.
Without Patti and her connection to my advisor, Emily, I wouldn’t be working where I am today and I wouldn’t be blessed with such fantastic opportunities. I can’t thank them enough.
And finally, here are the Top 3 Reasons You Should Have a Mentor:
1. They’ve been through it before – Your mentor knows exactly what it’s like to be young and entering a new field. Listening to their experiences is invaluable information catered just for you.
2. They have connections – Jobs often come down to who you know and being in the right place at the right time. Forming professional connections with the help of your mentor can get your foot in the door at some high profile places. There are new networking opportunities that await.
3. They want to help you – Whether it’s a recommendation on Linkedin, a letter, or a resume review, your mentor wants to see you put your best foot forward and they believe they can help you do that. You don’t need weekly face-to-face meetings, but keeping your mentor updated through email will keep them in the loop and help them understand where you’re at.
“How do I find a mentor?” Chances are, there is already a program to link young professionals with experienced professionals at your college. To explore further, attend workshops, enroll in classes with professors who have a great reputation or talk to your friends for recommendations.
Takeaway: Having a mentor can not only impact your career and field of study, but your personal growth as well. Finding the right person you click with can give you the edge you need over other applicants.