A while back, we discussed the benefits of having a mentor while you are working through college. Be sure to check out this post, 6 Reasons to Find a Mentor in College, if you haven’t read it yet. Maybe you are now convinced that a mentor is a good thing for you, so how do you find a mentor? We will cover this very topic today.
Having a mentor is very helpful, but finding one (and the right one) can sometimes be difficult. Below are our best tips to finding a college mentor.
1. BE PATIENT – This is important because it can take some time to find one. Don’t stop looking for a good mentor even if it takes a few years!
2. LOOK EVERYWHERE – A mentor can be found in many places in and around a college campus; here are some of the best places to look…
- Professional Organizations – joining professional organizations on campus (or off campus) will allow you to talk with established professionals in your field of study. You can ask someone that you connect with to meet up with you regularly. Some of these organizations even have mentorship programs
- Your Professors – your professors are professionals too! Profs make excellent mentors because they well understand and care about students.
- Mentorship Programs – many universities and colleges have mentorship programs available. Simple seek them out and sign up to begin!
- Co-workers or Employers – Did you do an internship where you connected well with a boss or more experienced co-worker? Ask them to continue mentoring you during and beyond your internship.
3. FIND A CONNECTION – when looking, find someone that you connect with. A clear channel of communication is crucial to a beneficial mentoring relationship. Choose someone that is understanding, insightful, and able to challenge you to achieve your goals
4. ASK – when you think you’ve found a great potential, now comes the scary part! You will have to ask them to mentor you. But, do not be shy; most people love to help and offer advice! This indeed can be a challenging step, so take some deep breaths and know that the benefit of a mentor far outweighs the momentary affliction of asking!
5. SCHEDULE – The scary part is over, and your mentor has agreed! Now all that is left is to set a meeting schedule and location. Be upfront with your mentor and make time for their schedule. Suggest some times and dates. Once agreed upon, be sure to send your mentor a friendly reminder a day or so before the meeting… if at all possible, make it easy for him/her to be your mentor instead of a burden.
And that’s it! Finding a mentor is as easy as that, but it may just be the most fruitful relationship you make in college.