Colleges are following in the footsteps of businesses and providing mentoring opportunities for their students. Mentorship programs are designed to help a student transition to college and, ultimately, to the workforce. Mentors guide you through your class choices. They also help you develop effective time management and stress management skills. Mentors are important for you to get the most out of your college experience. Let’s take a look at the types of mentors you will meet and how each can uniquely help you.
Transitioning from college to a career can be a daunting prospect. A career mentor is an established professional in your field. The mentor is actively working in your field of study and provides career advice, including business networking skills and long-term career strategies. Because they have contacts throughout their industry, they can help you identify job prospects before they are even posted.
For example, students enrolled in CACREP accredited online programs will be connected with a licensed counselor. They help you locate internship or practicum opportunities. Career mentors provide a foundation for a professional network early in your work life, giving you added support through all stages of your career.
Alumni mentors have graduated from your college. Their purpose is to help you build a relationship with the school. An effective alumni mentor does not have to work in your career field. As you venture into your career life, you will meet colleagues, customers, and vendors who may have been affiliated with your alma mater. This connection gives you a solid foundation for a more meaningful relationship with these people.
Due to the nature of these mentors, you will be part of a group of mentees for one mentor. This allows you to develop additional relationships with other students across the college.
It is equally important to develop relationships with peers throughout your college experience. Peer mentors are usually older students enrolled in the same program as you. They can help you navigate your course schedule, expose you to overlooked school activities and be a sounding board for questions or concerns.
Consider volunteering as a peer mentor as you progress through your education. You can gain valuable leadership and mentorship experience through these programs.
A hierarchal mentor is usually an admissions counselor, college advisor, or faculty member. Your mentor is your main point of contact for services that you may require in college. They can help you identify services you need and put you in contact with the correct person, such as financial aid, student health, or peer tutoring.
A hierarchal mentorship is very similar to the professional mentor you may have when you enter the career field. This is an opportunity for you to develop experience working with people in authority.
It is important to build mentoring relationships with each type of mentor. Understanding the role each one plays in your education and career path helps you become a more successful student and employee. Upon graduation, you can pay it forward by working as a career or alumni mentor for future students.