Balancing classes, a part-time job, an internship, homework and social activities can be tough. So when the topic of finding a mentor comes up, many collegiettes shrug off the idea because there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
You may be wondering, “Uh oh, do I really need a mentor?” The answer is no. Having a mentor won’t make-or-break your chance at career success. However, having a good mentor can be extremely helpful when you’re looking for career advice, job opportunities or even just a role model who has already succeeded in the career field you’d like to enter.
If you’ve never had a mentor, you probably have a million of questions. Never fear, collegiettes! HC has gathered some helpful insights to help you find the perfect mentor.
How can a mentor help me?
There are many ways a mentor can help you, and you can often tailor your mentor/mentee relationship depending on what you hope to get out of it.
It’s best to be very specific about your goals when looking for a mentor. Do you want to find somebody to help you get your foot in the door in the accounting industry? Or maybe you’re looking for somebody to help you with your resume and cover letters?
Karen Burns, author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use, writes that mentoring can differ depending on the needs of the mentee. “It can be a monthly lunch, a quarterly phone call, a weekly handball game, or merely a steady e-mail correspondence. Your mentor doesn’t even have to live in your city or region.”
Giving your mentor a detailed description of what you would like them to help you with is often the best method of handling this type of relationship. Think about what you need from them and then don’t be afraid to ask for it!
Kelsey Mulvey, a Her Campus contributing writer and student at Boston University, found a mentor in one of her bosses. “She’s super supportive and is encouraging me to follow my dreams, as clichéd as it sounds. I don’t think a mentor is absolutely necessary, but if you find someone who truly believes in you, it’s great to have that kind of support system!”