A mentor is someone who you can turn to for a variety of advice concerning professional and personal issues. Your advisor can be your mentor, but this isn’t always the case. A mentor can be another faculty member, a staff person, or a professional connection from outside the university.
The qualities you want to find in a mentor include:
- Someone who will spend time with you
- Someone who will always give you unbiased advice
- Someone who will always be there for you
Mentoring relationships develop naturally, but there are some common stages the mentoring process goes through.
Initial meeting. The initial meeting occurs in any number of ways. The key to this meeting is that there seems to be a natural connection.
Advice session one. You ask your mentor for advice about some issue. Typically this advice session will be one where your mentor learns more about you. Also the scope of the advice can expand beyond your initial issue. Often in directions you never realized.
You take the advice and it turns out very well. You let your mentor know how valuable the advice was.
You continue to turn to your mentor for help.
What’s in it for the mentor? A true mentor enjoys helping young people develop their full potential. Seeing your progress can be a tremendous reward.