All high school seniors have one thing in common: potential. They’re young, idealistic and bright with promise. A senior with potential is an untapped resource that many industries are looking for. This trait varies from high to low, and those with relatively high potential can improve their chances of getting a brighter future by entering a mentorship with someone more knowledgeable in a specific niche.
What is a Mentor?
A mentor is someone who can provide guidance in most aspects of your chosen career. Mentorship is defined as developing a personal relationship with a senior in a chosen field, which could turn into a lasting business and professional relationship in time. The simplest and least complex form of mentorship is the question-and-answer type where the trainee uses his or her mentor as a resource person should he encounter a complicated dilemma that only a more experienced person can provide a solution for.
Are your teachers your mentors? In a way, a teacher can become a mentor if the relationship progresses in such a way that the teacher shares information on a particular subject area without being limited by the restrictions in the syllabus or the scope of the lesson plan. A good example of this is when a teacher mentors a student mathematician in preparation for a big inter-high school math quiz bee. Another good example is a teacher that acts as a resource person for an extracurricular project like the science fair even if that teacher isn’t the one in charge of normal science lessons.
Where to Meet Potential Mentors
Potential mentors are not difficult to find, especially if you make it a habit to attend all the senior seminars that your school sets up, and those that you find time to join yourself. Speakers that are invited to share their knowledge with seniors in these seminars know a lot about career advancement. They can potentially give you the kind of help and inspiration you need to enhance your potential. Your teachers, especially those that are very much concerned about the well-being and growth of their students, also make good mentors.
Develop Your Criteria for Choosing a Mentor
Not all the people suitable to mentor high school students have the time and the inclination to share what they know with you. Therefore, willingness to help should be your main criteria in choosing a mentor.
How do you know a teacher, a speaker or someone renowned in your niche is willing to mentor promising seniors? You ask. Showing interest might spark interest in this case. If you’re lucky, the individual you’re hoping to turn into your mentor may just be willing to start a mentoring program for you and your peers.
Mentorship Programs and Workshops
Sometimes, you just have to sign up for a mentoring program and not search for a mentor yourself. There are some private organizations that set up training camps and summer workshops with the sole purpose of mentoring would-be movers in the community. Ask your guidance counsellor if such a program is offered in your school or in the community.
Photo Courtesy of BIGSTOCK
You can also find virtual mentors on-line. Most I’ve seen are pay services (which I would avoid), but there are also a number of free resources available (like the one I created) 🙂