5 Tips On Finding A College Mentor

As adults return to college, they often need support to coach them through some of the challenges and difficulties, such as preparing for tests and organizing projects. Some adult students find it helpful to seek the advice of a mentor in school. Here are tips on finding and using a mentor.

Who Can Be A Mentor?

A mentor can be anyone who gives you advice on school, career or life choices. Traditionally, a mentor is someone who is older than the mentee, and has more work or education than the younger person. But for adult students, this may not be the case. A mentor could be a professor, a co-worker, another adult student, or a family member or friend. Some adult students have even chosen their adult children, who have finished college, to mentor them.

How Do You Choose A Mentor?

Before choosing your mentor, narrow down the reasons why you want outside advice. Is it for suggestions on how to succeed in school? Or is it for more general career advice for when school is finished? In either case, be sure to choose someone who you think makes good decisions and whose advice you trust. Professional organizations often have mentor programs, where they pair students with experienced professionals in the field. The person should also be someone who is willing to spend time, either face to face or chatting on the phone or through email, giving you advice and encouragement.

How Do You Ask Someone To Be a Mentor?

If you decide you want a professor, academic adviser or someone else affiliated with your college to mentor you, you can simply ask if they are willing. Most professionals in academic settings expect this kind of advising to be part of the job. If it is a co-worker or another student you choose, feel free to explain that you are looking for support and advice about college and that you would like to speak with them on a regular basis, perhaps every two to four weeks.

What Kinds Of Things Can You Ask A Mentor To Help You With?

A mentor is not a tutor, and is not there to teach you material from your classes or help you write your term papers. Instead, he or she should be giving you general advice on how to organize your classwork, where to find academic help at the university, and so on. Professional mentors should advise you on skills that are currently needed in your field, the best courses of study to pursue, and so on.

Can Mentors Find You A Job?

Mentors are there for advice and encouragement, not to give you an in with their place of business. Don't just pick a mentor simply by their place of work. Anyone with contacts ion your chosen field could be a valuable resource in your job search once school is finished, and that could be a former student or professor, as well as someone working in the industry.

Many adult students find it helpful to seek the advice of a mentor in school, and the relationship can be rewarding for both the mentor and the mentee.


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