As a high school senior, you may feel like the world is closing in on you. Maybe you’re worried about what your future holds and if you’ll be able to find a job that suits your interests and abilities after graduation. Or maybe you’re just eager to start making plans for your future and imagining what it will be like once you leave the nest. Whatever your concerns are right now, they shouldn’t hold you back from looking towards the future with optimism. Instead of worrying about what lies ahead, it might be time to start thinking about what life will be like once you graduate from college as well. A good mentor can help you think through these concerns, develop a plan for your future, and take actionable steps towards achieving your goals.
A mentor is a person who has already gone through the process of earning a degree and may be in a position to guide you through that same process. They may also have vast experience in a particular field that can help you out in ways you didn’t imagine. A mentor can be an upperclassman in your program, a teacher, a Career Coordinator, or someone else in your community. Ideally, the person you choose as a mentor has gone through the same experience you did while getting a degree and can offer you wise advice and helpful tips.
Having a mentor can be tremendously helpful when it comes to learning about job applications and career planning. A mentor can also give you insight into the profession that may not be available to you any other way, as you may have to focus on your own studies, take care of your responsibilities, and focus on your own career planning at the same time. A mentor can also help you recognize and avoid common career pitfalls, such as choosing a field that is not a good match with your interests and abilities. Having a mentor can also help you see how you can apply what you’re learning in your degree program to other aspects of your life, such as your job or personal relationships.
If you want to find an appropriate mentor, you’ll first want to think about what you want to learn from your mentorship experience. There are several things you may want to focus on, including networking, developing your personal brand, managing your time, and finding a job. Some other things you may want to consider are how you can get more out of your education and how you can be a more effective student and worker. Once you know what you want to get out of your mentorship, it’s easier to identify a potential mentor. You can start by speaking to your high school Career Center or a teacher who may be able to suggest suitable mentors. Once you’ve identified a few mentors you’d like to approach, be sure to schedule proper meetings with each of them and be respectful of their time. Make sure you know each mentor’s areas of expertise and how they may be able to help you out. Make sure you follow up with each mentor as well, so you don’t let any opportunities slip through the cracks.
When it comes to approaching your mentor, it’s important to approach the relationship in a way that’s respectful and positive. You don’t want to come off as someone who is looking for handouts or relying on your mentor to provide you with answers to all your questions. You’ll want to approach your mentor as an equal, someone who is just as eager to learn from them as you are from them. While you may want to get to know your mentor better before you approach them about mentorship, you don’t need to have a long-term mentor before you start. It’s important to approach mentors who are currently mentoring students as this gives you a chance to get mentorship immediately, while also getting to know your mentor better over time. Once you’ve identified a few mentors you’d like to approach, be sure to schedule proper meetings with each of them and be respectful of their time. Make sure you know each mentor’s areas of expertise and how they may be able to help you out.
Once your mentorship program is over, you should definitely thank your mentor. It may seem a bit cold to do so immediately after the program ends, but this is the best way to show your mentor that you appreciated the experience. You don’t have to go overboard or make a huge deal out of it, either. Some good ways of doing so include sending a handwritten note, calling or emailing your mentor, or mentioning it in person when you see them. You don’t need to write a lengthy thank-you letter or send a gift. You can simply express how much the mentorship experience helped you, what you got out of it, and how you intend to apply what you learned to your future endeavors.
Mentors are an invaluable resource for students looking for guidance and advice. Having a mentor can help you develop your leadership and professional skills, identify career goals, and get a better sense of what is expected of you in the workplace. It can also be helpful to have a mentor who has been there before and has some advice on how to navigate the career path. Finding a good mentor can be tricky, but it is definitely worth the effort. By finding a mentor who has experience in the career field you are interested in, who has been through the program you are currently in, and who can share their unique insights with you, you will be able to navigate the job search and career path more successfully.