You need a mentor

Lockheed Martin’s recruiter Marisole Gongora emphasized that having someone to guide and advise you in your life is a good thing in her presentation Tuesday, making sure students understood that a mentor can help in the development of not only your career, but in many areas of your life. Mentors can serve as much more than a source of advice, by being helpful in making difficult decisions, offering comfort when things are not working out well, and just offering a mature perspective on the challenges in life.

Gongora began the presentation by talking about the different types of mentoring relationships students should have in their life, beginning with the wise leader type, which would be those in supervisory positions over you. The wise leader is someone who has put in the time and effort to advance to a high level within a company, and would be a good role model.

The next level is the life coach, who would be a trained therapist or someone of that level. Next comes the teacher, which is just as it sounds. Peer mentors are your trusted friends, those who have an interest in helping you succeed in life. Confidantes are your family members; you would share much of your life with them, and they probably know you the best.

Within these different levels of mentorship, three main styles are present. The casual style is what you would generally have with family and friends, where you just spend time with them and hang out, not necessarily with any specific agenda. Your life coach and teacher mentors would have the formal or direct style, as they give assignments and perhaps set up regular meeting schedules with agendas. The indirect style is most common with wise leader mentors – examples in industry that you would do well to follow.

Mentors can offer a college student so much in the way of just opening up new opportunities, so it is to your benefit to seek out a mentoring relationship with someone whose career goals are in line with yours. Many companies offer formal mentor programs and will put an intern in those programs. Mines also has a mentor program through the alumni office, pairing students with a Mines alum that has accomplished some of your personal goals and can offer specific counsel.

If you would like to pursue a mentoring relationship with someone you think would benefit you, Gongora suggested that you should talk to them about it and set up a time to discuss the possibility. Make sure that they understand what you want out of the relationship, and also be appreciative of their investment in you. And mentors can help so much in college and beyond in your career, so it can greatly benefit anyone to have a mentor.

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