The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a mentor as “someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person.” As a college student and Public Relations Student Society of America member, I am always being told the benefits of having a mentor. I never believed what everyone was telling me, until I met my mentor. Now, I consider my mentor one of the biggest blessings and assets in my life. Here are four reasons why having a mentor can be helpful:
They can provide advice
Mentors are often professionals who have more experience in the field than the average college student or recent graduate. So when something goes unplanned in the mentee’s life, the mentor often knows how to advise them because they have experienced something similar. You can learn from your mentor’s mistakes, and even avoid making them same ones yourself.
You can share a network
A mentor can introduce you to a whole new group of contacts – ones that can help you reach your goals. The connections you can make from your mentor are priceless and a free bonus that comes with having a good mentor. By having more opportunities to network, you can enhance your career and the possibilities for your future.
They can provide honest feedback
I am constantly preaching to find a good editor – a mentor can serve as that. A good mentor can provide you with honest and unbiased feedback on your work. They may have worked with similar projects; this can help you become stronger with your skillset. The feedback will also sharpen the great skill of being able to take criticism with grace and respect.
They can inspire you
Mentors are great for many reasons; however, they do have the potential to inspire you. A good mentor can introduce you to new career paths, skills and tools. These little introductions can ultimately lead you to a passion or a dream job.
Mentors can be a powerful tool for aspiring professionals – ones that can give back for a very long time. The reasons to find a mentor are limitless. So next time you meet a professional with similar interests as you, go introduce yourself; you never know where that handshake can get you.
Natalie Gloady is a current junior at Waynesburg University, where she is majoring in public relations and sports information, while minoring in Spanish. She serves as the public relations director for WUPRSSA and as an assistant firm director for Red Brick Communications. Natalie hopes to pursue a job in the sports industry or as a social media coordinator post graduation. Follow her on Twitter or connect with Natalie on LinkedIn.