What is a Mentor?
The concept of mentoring can be dated centuries back. The origin of mentoring can be dated back when Homer defined Mentor as a wise counselor who can be trusted. With the passage of time, mentoring as a concept evolved out in every field of life. Soon it became a popular phenomenon among educational institutes.
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A mentor can be defined as a counselor who helps the students evolve into a developed professional. A mentor guides the students through the course of degree and accordingly changes the tone and type of help required by them. Therefore, a relationship between mentor and student evolves out with time.
Finding a good and reliable mentor is a blessing indeed. He/she tries to provide a support system and helps out in solving the challenges as they come along the way. In a nutshell, we all are mentors at some stage of life, helping each other out in every possible manner.
The Importance of Being a Mentor and Having a Mentor
Being a Mentor
Mentors play a crucial role in every aspect of life. The importance of being a mentor becomes more significant in the education sector. Becoming a mentor revolves around contributing back to the community. It becomes an investment in the future by guiding young students and newbie professionals to the right resources and techniques.
Apart from benefiting the students, a mentor itself gains a lot advantage:
- Enhancing communication skills: Providing mentorship to students from other organizations helps you effectively increasing your conveying and listening skills.
- Promoting connection and coordination: While mentoring students or newbie professionals, you continue to expand your social circle and meet new resources as time passes.
- Identifying one-self: Mentoring someone not only enables you to be prepared for answering any query but also highlights your journey for you. And one can always tighten the loose ends.
Having a Mentor
A mentor can play a diversified role when it comes to student or professional life. The importance of having a mentor increases when you are a university student and are about to start devising a career path. The role of a mentor is necessary here as he/she can help you avoid the unnecessary turn around and can guide you to desired outcomes.
Some of the benefits that can be associated with becoming a mentee can be:
- Support system: With having a proper guideline, a mentor can guide you to become what you are passionate about as a person. A mentor can also provide a support systemthat you can rely upon.
- Expanding professional network: With the help of a mentor, you can become familiar with the top-notch industry or academics experts. Expanding your professional network can help you out in the future.
- Meaningful collaborations: Often mentors engage their mentees in a research or leadership role as a collaborator. This not only help them stand out later in professional life but also..? (sentence seems to be incomplete)
What is the Role of a Mentor in University?
Many universities across the globe develop proper guidelines for both mentors and mentees to ensure a smooth process. A general rule of thumb to follow while fulfilling the responsibilities and characteristics as a Mentor are as follows:
- Consider a Mentee as a human being first.
- Allow him/her to explore options before pointing at the right course of direction.
- Listen to him/her first and communicate the guidelines afterward.
- Help him/her explore his/her potential and instill the virtues of confidentiality.
- Empower him/her with your research/leadership knowledge and evaluate his/her developed skills from time to time.
- Be empathetic and polite!
How to Become a Mentor for a Student?
Becoming a mentor is quite a demanding task. Guiding the students to be experts in their respective fields requires patience and effort. Here is how you can become a valuable mentor for your students:
- Have a clear-cut vision: You can help out students if you have a clear vision of your career aspirations. Becoming an expert in your field is what will help you impart knowledge to fellows and young students.
- Establish a sound network: Finding and locating the best mentee is a hideous task. However, with a proper network and applying social media to reach out to your best benefit, one can find valuable mentees through proper networking.
- Define proper guidelines: Set and propagate among your mentees a proper guideline upon which mentor-mentee relationship can establish. Clearing any misconception and creating a proper timetable at the very beginning can discard various complications later.
- Empower the young generation: Instead of spoon-feeding, the focus should be more on how to enable young students to solve their problems effectively. Set a direction and let them do the rest.
Seven Ways a Mentor Can Help a Student Succeed
The following guideline can help you understand the role of a Mentor and become a valuable asset for the young generation and leaders-to-be by:
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1. Becoming a Role Model
Be a source of positivity among your mentees. Apart from guiding them through their professional growth, lend a hand in personal growth wherever possible.
2. Recognizing Mentees as Individuals
Rather than setting their directions, know your mentees and their goals & interests first. Help the students thrive beyond their professional life and provide guidelines where it may deem necessary.
3. Imparting Knowledge & Experience
Share with your mentees the challenges you faced and the opportunities you availed while traversing the path of your career. Help them note down and act upon useful tips and enable them to embrace failure as a way of success.
4. Engaging in Meaningful Conversations
Instead of communicating one way, you must encourage the students to ask queries and to clear any confusion. Engage them in the process by asking them questions instead and expecting initial answers from their side.
5. Acknowledging Their Efforts
The most meaningful role of a mentor is to boost your mentor-mentee relationship to become a strong support system and acknowledge mentees’ efforts. Not only their confidence will be boosted up, but also they will become more diligent in their work.
6. Introducing to Your Network
Allow your mentees to benefit from your established network and to build a secure future for themselves. Introduce them to your network and let them interact with experts from different walks of life.
7. Keeping in Touch With Each Other
Fostering a great mentor-mentee relationship requires allowing them to communicate with each other through various channels effectively. If possible, keep a check on your students and connect on social media platforms when necessary.