In today’s era keeping up with the whirlwind of options, dynamics and competitiveness the students need to have constant focus and balance.
We have always been hearing that every person needs a mentor in his/her life. We meet them through our teachers, elders, even our peers. However, when it comes to choosing a career no one can guide the students better than a professional mentor/counsellor who is deeply invested in the impact you want to create, whether in high school, college or professional life. A career choice is something that can make or break someone’s early life. Thus, it is always wise to seek professional advice.
In today’s era keeping up with the whirlwind of options, dynamics and competitiveness the students need to have constant focus and balance. Adding the tension of deciding the future path, evaluating the college options and preparing for the application the students can get overwhelmed.
Having trustworthy, knowledgeable, experienced and invested mentors/coaches to guide us through this process can make things easy and clear for students and professionals. It is evident that students who are backed up with professional mentors get successful in moulding themselves as well as their careers. A strong mentor-student relationship is really valuable to one’s life.
People are always biting their nails over mentorship and finding the right guide. Here’s the formula to spot the ideal mentor for the students.
Mentoring Skills That Can Have a Great Impact on Student’s Development
- Practical & Skills Oriented Consultant: A mentor should always try and push the students to gain knowledge and skills through practical means. Internships, debates, webinars, experiments, assistance in research, shadowing the leaders/serious belonging to the aimed field will enhance the students’ practical knowledge.
- Building a Roadmap for Success: creating a roadmap with daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals help to achieve the long term goal. The what, who and the how with the onus of responsibility of actions is required. Time should be made to reflect and course-correct.
- Giving Constructive & Supportive Criticism: Giving timely feedback on assignments, being specific while pausing as well as criticising, having one-on-one sessions and keeping a clear approach will build up trust and confidence among students for a mentor.
- Fostering Networks of Multiple Mentors: Connecting the students with seniors, alumni, other faculty, working professionals will boost up their assertiveness and interest giving them more clarity on the actual situation that they will face after college.
- Looking Out for Interest Areas: Aligning feedbacks and options with the student’s interest will make the students likely to accomplish their goals
- Opening the Lines of Communication & Active Listening: Good mentoring involves communicating with the students and listening to their queries and coming up with solutions in terms of research, course options, assessments, etc.
- Keeping an Optimistic Attitude: Finding an option B or a damage control solution amidst the student’s bad days and helping them stick to the action plan helps the students become more consistent and resilient.
- Practising Reflective Empathy: There should be open discussions rather than just asking questions by the mentors to the students to make the interaction more engaging and comprehensive. The students should feel that the mentor can understand where they are coming from and rely on them to get a solution from them.
Knowledge-Base/Wisdom-Base a Mentor Should Have
Nobody needs a degree to train/mentor but then a professional should be well-read and informed of the happenings in each sector. They should be able to provide relevant insights whenever needed. A mentor should extract knowledge from their own life. Industry experience can help the mentors provide more accurate advice.
Official training or courses in specialist areas like career counselling, student psychology, social work, management courses, etc can help create a good knowledge-based as well as nail an entry-level job as a mentor. The few options one can consider are National Mentor Training and Certification Program by NAESP, Certified Career Analyst (CCA), NCDA (National Career Development Association) and CDA (Career Development Association) programs.
Questions All Students Should Ask Before Choosing a Mentor
- Are they well-informed about the course prospects and requirements regarding them?
- Do they have enough resources to help the students prepare for entrance exams for specific areas even within study abroad?
- Have they worked with a diverse set of students?
- Are they aware of the non-academic criteria as well as classes and extracurriculars that will make the students capable candidates?
- Will they support the student in balancing academic coursework, additional coursework like Advance Placement Tests, Extracurricular etc.