The Value of a Meaningful Mentor

My one piece of advice to all UConn undergraduates: find a meaningful professional mentor (or two!)

Your mentor(s) will not only guide you throughout your years in college, but can aid you in getting opportunities. They can help you with this not just by serving as a reference on your behalf, but by connecting you with the right people or suggesting to apply to a job you might not have heard about until they introduced it to you.

A mentor could be a supervisor, a professor, an advisor, or even a graduate student. By building a strong, communicative relationship with your mentor, you can foster individual growth, tackle any challenges you may face throughout your journey, and simple discuss your next steps. Having an open, yet professional, dialogue with someone you look up to and can help mold you into your career path is invaluable.

Don’t forget, most job opportunities come from inside networking, not a simple job posting on HuskyCareerLink. Again, this is where your mentor comes in handy. If they work in your field of interest, or simply have contacts in the industry, they are more than open to connecting you. After all, they are in this just as much as you are. The beauty of this relationship is that it truly is a meaningful two-way street.

Keeping in touch is absolutely vital in having a mentor. Stop in their office just to say hello. Ask to grab a cup of coffee to catch up. Send them a thank you card to show them you appreciate their assistance and friendship after meeting with them. Update them on where you are applying and interviewing. Again, they are truly in this as much as you are, so be sure to keep an open line of communication to keep them in the loop!

I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without my UConn mentors.