There are a lot of decisions to make in college. What classes should you take? What clubs are worth joining? What jobs should you apply to, and how should you handle the interviews for those jobs? It can be really helpful to explore these questions with someone who is older, wiser, and more experienced than you. In other words, these are questions you want to discuss with a mentor. Personalized college mentoring has a lot of benefits for students. Here are a few of them.
Your mentor can share their knowledge.
You don’t know everything. Nobody does — and there is nothing wrong with that! The thing is, there are people who know more than you about your chosen profession and the path to get there. Ideally, your mentor should be someone who has walked that path before you. They have gained a lot of knowledge along that way, and they can share that knowledge with you. It is often easier to gain knowledge through a chat with someone who can relate to you than by wading through countless lectures and books. Yes, lectures and books are important — but they don’t always deliver the more practical knowledge you can get from a mentor.
You’ll have someone to ask questions.
As mentioned above, it’s normal to have lots of questions in college. If you have a personalized mentor, you always have someone you can ask these question. This not only gets you the answers you need, but also gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have someone to turn to. Many college students come to feel comfortable asking their mentor questions they may not ask their average professor or parent.
Your mentor can keep you focused.
With so many different opportunities available to you in college, it’s not easy to know which ones best serve your path. It’s far too easy to lose focus and end up concentrating on experiences that were not as important. A mentor can help keep you focused. They can remind you of your goals and help you discern which steps are most apt to help you achieve those goals. If your mentor sees you straying in your focus, they can reach out and help you get back on track.
NSCS Mentoring Program
Included in an NSCS membership is the opportunity to participate in the NSCS Mentoring Program. The Scholar Central member community will help match you to the best fit mentor, provide a framework for how to interact with your mentor, and milestones along the way to ensure you are achieving your goals. If you would like to join NSCS, please visit info.nscs.org/mentorship-lp.org.
Your mentor can help you make connections.
There’s an old adage that says, “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” Rote knowledge is important, and you certainly want to be well-versed with the academic information used in your industry. However, it’s also important to network and make connections. It is these connections that will help you find jobs, move up in your career, and grow in your profession. Your personalized mentor can help you begin to network. They may personally introduce you to others who they think you should meet. They may make you aware of certain networking events you should attend, or informational interviews worth having. Think of your mentor as your tie to the industry you wish to enter.
Personalized college mentoring can really help round out and improve your college experience. If you’re looking for a mentor, consider joining a college honors society. Most honors societies have structured mentoring programs. They may also help you connect with other alumni in your field who are willing to talk with you and mentor you as you navigate your college years.