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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I believe mentorship to be one of the key elements in succeeding in life especially as a first generation college student. As much as one would like to not rely on other for resources, advice, or just to talk, it is simply impossible. You will always need people to guide you whether it be in your career or in your personal life. 

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I first learned about the power of mentorship when I was a freshman in college. Because I am a first generation student, I did not understand how to obtain the resources I needed in order to succeed in my academic and professional life. As a result, I sought out a mentor in a club named "First Gen United". They were holding mentorship events to help the younger students engage with the upperclassmen. I attended one and as a result, met my mentor Fasica. She was also a first generation college student, and we even had the same major! As time passed, we went on mentor dates and regularly communicated with each other about what was going on in our lives. Although my time with Fasica was cut short due to the pandemic, I can positively say that I enjoyed it because it made me feel less isolated and more at home. Fasica knew what I was going through and always assured me that she was there for me.

I believe mentorship to be one of the key elements in suceeding in life especially as a first generation college student.

When I was a sophomore, I decided to repay the experience that had been given to me as a mentee. In the Fall of 2020, I joined You Can Too Inc. as a mentor to high school students in New York City. It was an amazing experience to say the least. I met so many intelligent and wonderful people including my mentee India. Not only did India bring out another side of me, she truly impacted my life in such a positive way. She taught me patience, diligence, and persistence because as hard as it was to mentor through a virtual space, we made the experience all the worthwhile.

When I was seeking out internships to further my career, one of the key aspects I was looking for was a mentorship program to help me get my foot in the door and learn from someone who had been in my shoes not too long ago. At the company I am interning at during Winter 2022, there are many resources for those seeking out mentorship. I am happy I found a place that aligns with one of my key values.

Recently, I became a mentor within the same program that I started with which really put into perspective for me how far I have come with my journey with mentorship has come. My new mentee's name is Jalinette, and everyday I am reminded of how lucky I am to be her mentor.

Gigi Oyola is a junior at the George Washington University studying International Economics and Business. She is a member of the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women, Association of Latino Professionals for America, Women in Business, and First Generation United. Besides her love for numbers and creative writing, Gigi enjoys adventuring to new sites, finding the best coffee shops, and making fun Tik Toks.
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