Find the right mentor to help get through college

September 21, 2012

Getting through college on your own can be extremely difficult, even for the most prepared student. Though you may feel ready for this experience, you shouldn't feel that you need to take this journey on your own. One of the best ways to help you on your way is to find a mentor who will help you in your quest for a rewarding undergraduate adventure.

Formal mentoring programs
In some cases, colleges will have a formal mentoring program for which students can sign up. Instead of having to seek out an upperclassman on your own, the school will put you in contact with someone who will be able to show you the ropes. When looking at which school would be right for you, it can be worthwhile to ask if there is a formal program in place.

Learning job skills
There are also sometimes opportunities to find mentors working in your field of study. In an interview with Quintessential Careers, career expert Marcia Merrill said that students should try to find an alumnus working in their sector and observe how they conduct activities on a daily basis. 

"Students (mentees) get to ask their mentors questions about the 'real world.' Mentors report that it's very rewarding to help someone, remembering what it was like when they were trying to decide on a career," Merrill told the source. "They invite the students to job-shadow them in the workplace to see how it really is and experience firsthand what it's like to be an attorney, doctor, or counsellor/psychologist."

She goes on to say that another benefit to working with an older mentor is the fact that you will be able to begin networking and forming relationships. By being attentive and showing a genuine interest in a professional's career, you will be ready to jump into the workforce after graduating from college.

Professors as mentors
When you enroll in a class that is part of your major's requirement, you may find that you have a special connection to the professor. Maybe he or she reminds you of a teacher you were close with in high school. Whatever the reason, these bonds can last a lifetime.

There are many reasons that people have for wanting to get in contact with a mentor. Finding a person that you can trust and who has your best interest at heart can help you during your time in school and beyond. They may also be able to tell about ways to save money on college by applying for grants for education.

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