How to figure out the kind of mentor you need

academic advice College mentorship
By Shae

Everyone has their favorite season! Some people adore summer because of the good weather, time off from school, and fun vacations with friends and family. While autumn is my favorite season, I believe the summer is a great time for a person to check in on their needs, goals, and progress. Especially at the halfway point of the year, it’s a good time to evaluate what’s working, and what’s not working, and create a plan to implement any changes that need to be made to reach your goals or maintain your progress. 

Here are a few tips on the type of mentors you should be looking for based on the current season of life you are in.

When You’re Experiencing a Transition

Whether it’s changing majors, careers, or just classes, transitions can be difficult without the right support to help you reach the next step. You want a mentor who will help you build the bridge between where you are and where you’re going next. A good mentor in this situation will help you navigate closing the gap between here and there.

When You’re Stuck in a Rut

Feeling unmotivated or even discouraged at times is a normal part of life. Sometimes it’s the class that looked intriguing from the description but ended up being more work than you planned for. Other times, you might feel disappointed about not getting the internship or placement you worked hard for.  

In this season of life, you need a mentor who can help you figure out your “why,” the motivating factor behind the goals and aspirations you have set for yourself. Yes, this essay assignment may seem superfluous, but how can you reframe the assignment as an opportunity to explore a new topic or refine your writing skills? A good mentor will be able to reframe your mindset to set you up for a comeback. 

When You’re Embarking on Something New

Mentors provide coaching and advice, but they also serve as a resource with a wide network. At the end of the day, one mentor can’t be everything you need all at once. However, the more time you spend outlining your goals and aspirations to your mentor, the more they can dig deep into their network to connect you with the people who can offer you targeted advice for your new endeavor.

When You’ve Reached a Goal

Congratulations on achieving one of your goals! In this season of your life, you may think a mentor is unnecessary. While success is good, it can also be temporary. In this season of your life, you’re going to need a mentor who can help you maintain your progress or challenge you to set new goals and systems to help you widen your skills and maybe even have an impact on others.

Key Takeaway

Just remember that the seasons of life are like the seasons of the year: you have to get through one you don’t like as much to get to the one you want. Finding the right mentor can help you get through (and maybe even enjoy) the season you are in.

Shae holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Chicago and an MA in History from Harvard University. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of History at Harvard University.

Comments

topicTopics
academics study skills MCAT medical school admissions SAT expository writing college admissions English MD/PhD admissions strategy writing LSAT GMAT GRE physics chemistry math biology graduate admissions ACT academic advice interview prep law school admissions test anxiety language learning premed MBA admissions career advice personal statements homework help AP exams creative writing MD study schedules test prep Common Application computer science summer activities history philosophy mathematics organic chemistry secondary applications economics supplements research 1L PSAT admissions coaching grammar law psychology statistics & probability legal studies ESL CARS SSAT covid-19 dental admissions logic games reading comprehension engineering USMLE calculus PhD admissions Spanish mentorship parents Latin biochemistry case coaching verbal reasoning DAT English literature STEM excel medical school political science AMCAS French Linguistics MBA coursework Tutoring Approaches academic integrity chinese letters of recommendation Anki DO Social Advocacy admissions advice algebra astrophysics business classics diversity statement genetics geometry kinematics linear algebra mechanical engineering mental health presentations quantitative reasoning skills study abroad technical interviews time management work and activities 2L DMD IB exams ISEE MD/PhD programs Sentence Correction adjusting to college algorithms amino acids analysis essay art history artificial intelligence athletics business skills careers cold emails data science dental school finance first generation student functions gap year information sessions international students internships logic networking poetry resume revising science social sciences software engineering tech industry trigonometry writer's block 3L AAMC Academic Interest EMT FlexMed Fourier Series Greek Health Professional Shortage Area Italian Lagrange multipliers London MD vs PhD MMI Montessori National Health Service Corps Pythagorean Theorem Python Shakespeare Step 2 TMDSAS Taylor Series Truss Analysis Zoom acids and bases active learning architecture argumentative writing art art and design schools art portfolios bibliographies biomedicine brain teaser campus visits cantonese capacitors capital markets cell biology central limit theorem centrifugal force chemical engineering chess chromatography class participation climate change clinical experience community service constitutional law consulting cover letters curriculum dementia demonstrated interest dimensional analysis distance learning econometrics electric engineering electricity and magnetism escape velocity evolution executive function freewriting genomics graphing harmonics health policy history of medicine history of science hybrid vehicles hydrophobic effect ideal gas law immunology induction infinite institutional actions integrated reasoning intermolecular forces intern investing investment banking lab reports linear maps mandarin chinese matrices mba medical physics meiosis microeconomics mitosis mnemonics music music theory nervous system neurology neuroscience object-oriented programming office hours operating systems organization