Finding mentors on and off campus
Mentorship is something people always discuss. People talk about its importance and the value of having particularly great mentors. One thing people forget to mention is how to go about finding mentors and make sure you find the right ones for you. To begin, it’s helpful to know what your goals are and what direction you want to go. If that sounds too daunting, you can start by finding mentors in areas you want to learn more about or are interested in. This should be someone you aspire to be like / look up to or are where you want to be at some point. Finding people like this is the first step. What do you do once you know these people?
What does mentorship actually look like?
Mentorship looks different for everyone, depending on objectives, goals, and people. I’ll start with a couple of examples to paint a picture.
When coming to college, I reached out to a student in Scheller College of Business who had gone to my same high school. He showed me the ropes of Georgia Tech and helped me get involved in clubs and build community.
Another example is once I joined some clubs, I spoke with people who were in positions I wanted to be in the club someday. I asked them how they did it, and what advice they had in my journey to do so.
Something important to remember is to ask your mentors and seek their advice directly related to their expertise. If I asked my Scheller mentor about leadership in a club he is not in, he would not have nearly as good advice as the person in that position themselves.
Many people are happy to hop on the phone or grab a coffee, but it is very important to make sure to be respectful of their time. When you meet them, have a list of questions ready to ask, for example, here are some of my questions I love to ask, as coming prepared will show them that you really care and are willing to come prepared to meet with them.
What is one thing that you wish you could go back and do if you were in my shoes?
How did you get to your current position?
Is there anyone else you think I should talk to?
Mentorship is a give and take. The more mentors you have, you will soon find yourself having mentees. Make sure to pay it forward, as many of your mentors are doing. Through life and different situations, you will have many mentors for different things. As you do, you will probably end up keeping up with a couple, and not keeping up with many more. Make sure to keep in touch with the mentors you bond with the most. I’ll leave you with this quote about mentorship: “A good mentor hopes you move on, a great mentor knows you will”