In my last article, I mentioned how obtaining a “Millionaire Mindset” would help to shift your perspective as a college student. Although those principles were simplistic and easy to understand you still must grasp the importance of finding a mentor who can walk you through the steps in more detail. It can take years to develop your mindset in the way that would be most productive to your career going at it alone. A solid mentorship can be one of the most important, yet undervalued, resources for your college career.
Why you need a mentor
David O McKay; stated that “True education does not consist merely in the acquiring of a few facts of science, history, literature, or art, but in the development of character.” One of the main reasons for finding a mentor in college is that you can establish a sense of accountability and direction for your life. A mentor will provide you with the right guidance necessary in order to foster the development of character in your life. It is not even feasible to begin preparing for the next 4 years of your college experience without a mentor. You need someone who will pour into you the necessary knowledge and wisdom pertinent to your growth and development; especially if they have already travelled down the path you’re about to take. They will train you to develop your own gifting and abilities and steer you into the correct pathway with wise counsel.
Qualities of a mentor
College students who graduate from a 4-year HBCU without the proper guidance of a mentor are rare occurrences. As you embark upon this journey of a lifetime it is important that you look for wisdom in everything that you set out to accomplish. You are no different from the countless of other HBCU students who needed mentors in order to obtain their college degrees. Thousands of African-American men and women try their hand at HBCU’s all across America each and every year with only a small percentage actually end up making it to the graduation ceremony. Why is this? Could it be a shortage of good mentor-mentee relationships? Although, there is trial & error on the part of a mentee in finding the right mentor; these 4 qualities will show you what to look on your search.
- They Demonstrate honesty, integrity, and responsibility for the mentee.
- They are able to communicate effectively both verbally and nonverbally.
- They are Willing to help and develop you through guidance, patience, and positive feedback
- They give life-changing counsel in practical form
How to find a mentor
For many students the balance of taking classes, working a part-time job, or family responsibilities can be a daunting task starting out. But, finding work after you graduate can be just as frightening especially if you are studying a major that has a lot of competition for jobs. Finding the right mentor in college can definitely help to alleviate some of these pressures and turn your college experience into a more rewarding and fulfilling journey. In order to position yourself to attract the right mentor into your sphere of influence; you need to understand who you are, where it is you would like to be in 5-10 years, and what key pieces of the puzzle can help you to get there. A well known Buddha Proverbs says “When the student is ready the teacher appears” So, the first step in finding a mentor is to make a decision to uncover the things that make you unique and special; then begin to build upon those qualities.
Places to look for a mentor
- Mentoring programs: 100 Black Men of America, Inc
- Community Circles: Churches, Neighborhood Centers and Coaches
- Social Media: LinkedIn, Facebook
- University Professors, Alumni, Dean, peer groups and Janitors (don’t underestimate these individuals)
- International mentoring Websites: International Mentoring Association, Mentors Peer Resources
- International mentoring concepts: Think about studying abroad. Begin building a global network by adding value to someone’s inner circle.
- The U.S. Commercial Service
- American Chamber of Commerce
- Large institutional investment funds: Asian Development Bank
- Law firms: Baker & McKenzie, Steptoe
- Trade Journals: Forbes, Black Enterprise
- Career Service resources within the HBCU community: The HBCU Career Center, HBCU Careers, and HBCU Career Development Market Place
“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” ― Robert Frost