When thinking about mentors, I believe that everyone could benefit from having one. Not only do they serve as a support system, but they understand the importance of achieving and striving for one’s goals.
Mentors can reduce stress, provide different perspectives, and provide different leadership experiences.
Luckily, last year I was chosen for the Challenge Programme, sponsored by the Multicultural Engineering Programme here at Mines, where I would meet my future mentor, Dr. Angie Sower. Her knowledge and love for chemistry continues to inspire me.
Like her, chemistry is a subject that does not come naturally to me, but she is a reminder that if I persist with something I love, struggling is okay. Sharing her experiences encourages me to keep doing my best while finding ways to still have a positive self-perception.
Being an amazing role model, she continuously helped me through chemistry 1 and chemistry 2 and clearly wants to see me succeed down the line.
Dr. Sower also serves as a support system; when taking chemistry 1 and chemistry 2, she actively listened to what I did to prepare for exams and gave constructive feedback on other methods that worked for her when she was a student. She constantly reminded me that I did know the material but that no matter what the results, I was doing my best.
Although well prepared, walking into the chemistry 2 final, I was extremely anxious and worried about letting Dr. Sower down after all the time that she worked with me. She ended up coming into my exam room and wishing me luck.
After admitting to her my worries of disappointing her in the exam room, she reminded me of my strengths and that she was not there to add pressure; in this instance, she helped me realize my potential and to believe in myself.
Being readily available is also an important attribute that a mentor needs, which Dr. Sower clearly did when she would work around my extremely busy schedule.
Even though I’ve passed through the classes that she usually teaches, she still offers to aid me and wants to know how life is going. Clearly, Dr. Angie Sower is an incredible role model and mentor, and I believe that everyone can benefit from a mentor-mentee relationship.