I wanted to share some lessons I learned throughout my four years of higher education. In some cases, I learned these lessons on my own, but I wished someone could have told me beforehand! It would have saved me lots of time! In other cases, I was lucky enough to have mentors that passed on some wise advice. Thus, I decided to write a series dubbed College Lessons for those who are about to enter college or are currently in college. These lessons can also be applied to a graduate school education, and life after graduation. I, actually, found myself implementing many of these college lessons in graduate school.
Find yourself a mentor today, not tomorrow. Mentors play a critical role in your personal and professional development. Benefits can include:
- Access to a support system during your academic and professional career.
- An insider’s perspective in developing a successful career.
- Clearer understanding of your academic and career plans.
- Exposure to diverse perspectives and experiences.
- Direct access to resources.
- Developing a professional network.
I have had several mentors throughout my life that have impacted me differently. My mentor in high school taught me about the basics of investing. In college, I had many mentors! I had several professors who would give me advice when I needed it. I, also, had mentors assigned to me from organizations I joined. In some cases, these mentors helped. The tangible result was there. For example, one mentor did a mock interview with me, which helped ease my anxiety before interviews. I, also, interned for a summer in a mentor’s company. In other cases, the result was intangible. I had a mentor who was always there cheering me on, and always telling me positive things. Mentors also helped me network in professional groups and introduced me to potential companies where I could work at.
You should always have mentors in your life. Mentors can be only a year older than you, or decades older than you. But each mentor provides a different perspective and will help you navigate your life in a savvy way.
Have you had any mentors? What did you learn from your mentors?
If you haven’t, what is stopping you?