By DeVry University
January 29, 2021
5 min read
January 29, 2021
5 min read
Chances are you've heard about mentors. You may have even had professors, colleagues or friends suggest you find a mentor. But where do you start and what do you stand to gain? Here we break down how professional mentorship works and why you may want to consider it as you move forward on your career path.
Help round out the skills you gained from your education with real-life insights shared by someone who is in a position you admire or wish to pursue.
Have someone to talk to about work, your education and your professional goals. A mentor may be able to provide more specific advice than family or friends.
Potentially gain access to a wider network of professionals in a field you want to be successful in.
Gain your own personal cheerleader – your mentor should be one of your biggest advocates and a great source of encouragement.
Willingness to share and help guide fellow professionals
Has the time and flexibility to accommodate a mentorship
Expresses relevant business skills that you can learn from
Works or has worked in a career path that you're interested in pursuing
Establish your goals
Take some time to think about why you want a mentor and what you hope to get out of the relationship. Your simple answer might be to “get support as I pursue a new job” or “grow my skillset in a specific area” – but those may not lead to a fruitful conversation. Outlining your goals, questions and concerns will help you be more prepared and focused as you begin this new journey.
Set up a time to talk & prepare in advance
By setting a time to talk, you're letting your potential mentor know that this is important to you. With a time set, you can prepare for the conversation and plan for the best possible outcome - a yes from your new mentor!
Create a plan for your mentorship
Clearly identify what you hope to get out of this experience, the time commitments and any milestones you want to achieve along the way. This will help your prospective mentor understand your aims and figure out if they are the best fit for you. If they're not the best person to help you with your goals, then maybe they can recommend someone better suited.
Thank them for their time
Let your potential mentor know how much you not only value their time for this initial discussion but also how valuable their time will be to you through the course of a mentorship. This will demonstrate your respect towards them and let them know you're very serious about this experience.
Start by communicating with trust and respect and being open to listening. You may not always think their stories or suggestions are relevant at the time, but they're worth listening to. You never know when you might encounter similar situations down the road where that advice could help you.
Understand that a relationship takes two people and work collaboratively to solve problems. The power of two heads is better than one, and that's part of the reason you signed up for this in the first place!
Throughout the course of the relationship, keep each other updated on expected responsibilities and timelines. There will be times when you're working toward a time-sensitive goal and need clear expectations laid out upfront. This will help both of you stay on track and give you a greater chance of making it happen.
As time passes, change is inevitable. By checking in frequently with each other to understand the outside professional and personal responsibilities at play, you can be respectful of each other's time outside of the relationship and be more understanding and adaptable to change.
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In New York, DeVry University operates as DeVry College of New York. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), www.hlcommission.org. The University’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. DeVry is certified to operate by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Arlington Campus: 1400 Crystal Dr., Ste. 120, Arlington, VA 22202. DeVry University is authorized for operation as a postsecondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, www.tn.gov/thec. Lisle Campus: 4225 Naperville Rd, Suite 400, Lisle, IL 60532. Unresolved complaints may be reported to the Illinois Board of Higher Education through the online compliant system https://complaints.ibhe.org/. View DeVry University’s complaint process https://www.devry.edu/compliance/student-complaint-procedure.html Program availability varies by location. In site-based programs, students will be required to take a substantial amount of coursework online to complete their program.
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