The Importance of a Mentor
All my life, I've been fortunate enough to have a variety of mentors and positive role models. Whether that's been friends, teachers or coaches, I have always had someone I could confide in, and trust to give me the best advice to help me grow. In college, as I began my journey to becoming a public relations professional, I knew I needed someone to fill the shoes of my professional mentor.
A mentor can't be just anybody. The best type of mentor takes you under their wing, and gives you the extra time and attention you need to answer all your questions and lend advice. Throughout your career you may have one mentor, or many mentors, who are all equally important in helping you achieve personal success. In the beginning of your career you will have many questions that can be intimidating to ask a senior in the firm. This is probably the most important and beneficial time in your life to have a mentor. They know about the industry and situations you haven't experienced, and having that personal advocate can get you a long way when you start out.
The mentor/mentee relationship is to be mutually beneficial, where both people can learn from one another. The mentor will draw from past experiences to help you anticipate things you may not be aware of, while the mentee can be beneficial in teaching the mentor new technologies or trends that the mentor may not be as familiar with.
I was lucky enough to find a life-long mentor in my college PRSSA advisor. She has been a great mentor to many students throughout her years at The University of Georgia, as she is one of the most knowledgeable and caring people I know. Her genuine desire to see her students succeed and willingness to offer advice around the clock never ceases to amaze me. I would not be where I am today without this magnificent mentor in my life. I look forward to her continued guidance as I grow in my career, as well as becoming a mentor to a budding PR professional.
Have you had an impactful mentor, and how have they shaped you as a person and excel in your career?