Career Center

The Power of Mentoring

What do you think mentoring is?  What do you want it to be?

Chancellor shakes student's hand

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is the idea of someone who is an expert in your field of interest being an advisor and consultant for you and therefore improving your opportunities by broadening your knowledge in that area.  Due to intense competition, mentoring is an important aspect for success and can assist people in obtaining a job in the field, being promoted, or simply to be more effective.  Mentorship also can help increase your success in the workplace.  Although mentors can help, you must make sure that you are still thinking independently.  Also, you must still work with others in addition to the mentor to be productive.

Why Should I have a Mentor?

Mentoring can be beneficial to both the mentor and mentee.  Depending on what your are seeking a mentor for, mentoring can help you with your career, academics, community service, etc.  Research has proven that mentoring is an effective form of assistance. (See “More About Mentoring” sidebar.)

Questions to Consider:

What are your career interests? (Take the Holland Code Career Test).

What areas of work do you want to know about?

What do you want to learn from a mentor?

Where Can You Find a Mentor?

Are you struggling with who or where to ask?  You can use the links in the “Featured Resources” and “Where to Find a Mentor” sidebars to find more information about the benefits of having a mentor and how to identify a potential mentor.

student at career fair

Is Peer or Cross-Generational Mentoring More Effective?

In the words of the UNCW Career Center Director, “…if you had graduating seniors being mentors to freshmen on campus, I think that would be wonderful; they have experience to share about ‘this is what I wish I knew when I came to campus, but I can now look back and share that with you.’ …Someone who is more cross-generational also can talk about it from a wider perspective; I think they will have more information to share.  The downside [is that] …they may not understand the challenges that someone today has.  For example, if a new freshman in college is getting advice from someone who went to college in the 50's or 60's, their experience was completely different, so it really may not be that helpful.”

Materials contributed by Katelyn Copenhaver.