By: Vanessa Nyawabila, SDSU Chapter Member
In the competitive field of STEM, having a mentor- mentee relationship can benefit you in all aspects of your life, and essentially, help you achieve your goals. The advice and resources a mentor can provide enables you to reach your goals and dreams more efficiently, and hopefully eradicate the bumps you may face along your journey. The majority of successful and accomplished individuals would not be who they are today without the support and advice from their mentors. So, I thought it was important to discuss the benefits of having a mentor and why you should have one!
Mentors can provide you with knowledge
A mentor is able to share with you information about their own career path and is able to help you along with yours. It is important to look for a mentor who is in your field of desire, and someone who you think you could resonate with as they could become a huge part of your life, and possibly, be able to get recommendation letters. When I first started out as a pre-med student, I had no clue on the lengthy process and would not be where I am if I did not have a mentor. The amount of knowledge I gained shortened my curve of learning and enabled me to accomplish more activities in knowledge in a short amount of time
Mentors are able to help you improve in the areas where you aren't strong
Mentors are able to see the areas in us that are lacking that could possibly hinder yourself into reaching your goals. Since they have experience getting into the field and being apart of the field of your interest, mentors are able to identify faults that we most likely could not see. Which in reality, is the best part of a mentor because it enables us to be stronger and grow as a person. Without them, you may not be able to reach your goal, or struggle to get there.
And the best part… Mentors are FREE
This by itself should be enough to go seek a mentor! Knowledge from an experienced professional, in your dream field, and could help you achieve yours sounds like a win to me! It is also beneficial for the mentor as they are able to give back and help upcoming professionals in their field. Mentors are driven to help others who seek for help, and are paying it forward from maybe even a previous mentor they had. The experiences you can gain from having a mentor, and the ones you can avoid, are perfect for anyone in their academic career of any stage to take part in. It is challenging to put yourself out their, or even intimidating to reach out to someone you admire and ask for help, but in the end it will all be worth and can possibly have a long lasting relationship.