Having a career plan is extremely important before you enter college, the latter being one of the biggest decisions people make at 17 or 18.
The role of mentoring during this process begins due to the need to have this follow-up when starting a new educational level, so that students can choose the career that best suits their general life plan, skills, and aptitudes.
We call it “general” because we know that it is very complicated at that age to put an exact name to the position that is sought to occupy. Therefore, the great virtue of making a career plan is, in addition to having a guideline to measure individual goals, to be able to modify it as it happens.
Then, when you enter a career and seek professional growth, precisely we must generate a vision of growth where we are training and identifying where we want to go, following our dreams and aspirations. Which, as the humans we are, never end and the accompaniment of a mentor facilitates.
Whenever we manage to climb a step, we must already have the vision of where we want to go, how we want to develop, what we seek to achieve, among other things, both professionally and personally. This is at the same time as having the prudence and wisdom that, even if the plan is not fully complied with, we will be able to know the next steps.
Creating the culture of mentoring in educational institutions
Mentoring is often considered to be limited to counseling, which is far from showing the real potential it has. When talking to the MentorME team, I found it shocking to know the vision that large companies have globally about mentoring, and I think it is completely applicable at the university level.
The value of this is that we can all be mentors and we can all be mentees at once. In the university environment even, this can be found with mentors who play both roles. For example, there are teachers in research who have more experience in certain areas of knowledge, and there are other younger teachers who start in the world of work and require this type of accompaniment and guidance to learn from what others have done, their successes and their mistakes. This can permeate in other areas as well.
Something that is being attempted to be created is that, mentors who are already external or graduates and who are in the professional field are mentors of students about to graduate, but at the same time a virtuous circle is generated in which these same students who are in the last year of their careers can be mentors.
In the end, there is always someone who can advise us, give us tips, and help us define our development plan and be able to apply the sharing of knowledge with other people who have been following a plan like ours.
Differentiating students through mentoring
The follow-up you have with a mentor can make a noticeable difference in the person who receives this knowledge, especially when looking to enter the world of work or set individual goals.
The main differences lie in the following:
- You will be able to have a vision for the future that will be landable in a well-defined career plan and personal development in any field. So, you can have someone to help you set your metrics and goals so that they are achievable and generate constant motivation to achieve them.
- It generates humility to learn from another person, to take advice, adapt those tips and identify what knowledge applies to your particular circumstance.
- Skills are developed such as organization, networking, relations with others, generation of empathy to get more fruit from the mentoring program that is mutual, with a collective growth.
In Mexico, this extremely valuable environment of mentoring is beginning to be applied, which can be applicable in many areas. I even think that there could be interdisciplinary programs that generate value based on a relationship (mentor and mind) and with this culture, collaborations and performance generated by organizations such as MentorME, mentoring can be magnified and, eventually, it will be something important, impactful, and transcendental for people, both professionally and personally.