Find a mentor or be a mentor
The Allan Hancock College Mentorship Program pairs successful community leaders with Allan Hancock College students looking for educational advice, career guidance, and life lessons. Mentoring is a true fulfillment of Hancock’s motto: Start Here, Go Anywhere.
Each mentor is paired with a student (the mentee) who has been chosen because he or she is bright, willing to learn, and eager for educational, personal and professional advancement.
A mentor facilitates personal and professional growth in an individual by sharing the knowledge and insights that have been learned through the years by providing an instant connection to mentees by being the following:
- Role Model–share knowledge and experiences with regard to college, career and life in general.
- Problem Solver–refer to resources and offer options.
- Motivator–when facing a challenging issue, for example: This is done through encouragement, support, and incentive.
- Coach–help to overcome performance difficulties through positive feedback (reinforce behavior) and constructive feedback (change behavior).
- Guide–help set realistic goals. Five goal setting factors: specific, time-framed, results oriented, relevant, and reachable. “If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t know how to get there.”
Mentors draw on their real world experience to give student advice about making the right choices in school, in exploring career opportunities, and in developing social skills. They serve as confidence boosters as well as role models.
Mentors act as sounding boards for their students and provide practical feedback. They share ideas, communicate knowledge, identify useful resources and help clarify educational, personal and professional goals.
The mentor-student relationship is about career professionals offering friendly guidance and encouragement to an up-and-coming generation. It’s based on mutual respect and openness.
It’s a two-way street - mentors often say they learn as much as they teach. The satisfaction of helping guide young scholars onto the path toward success is one of life’s great rewards.
The greatest benefits to be gained from any mentoring relationship come from how the mentee uses what their mentor can provide them. Here are 10 specific benefits of working with good mentors:
- Knowledge and contacts: An often unique benefit that can only be gained from a good mentor is a combination of detailed industry knowledge and personal introductions to the mentor's contacts, which have often taken the mentor many years to establish, and which might not otherwise be readily available to you.
- Business and life skills: As a mentee, you can also learn valuable business and life skills from your mentor, including best business practices, appropriate behaviors and protocols.
- Insight: A good mentor can also arrange experiences, such as participation in meetings, events or work experience, which will enable you to get insight into an organization culture and systems, or how a specific role is performed in that organization.
- Perspective and vision: Discussions with your mentor will stretch your thinking by providing you with another perspective to your own, as well as the benefit of your mentor's vision, which comes from their wider experience.
- Reduced feelings of isolation: Working with a mentor also often creates a sense of peer partnership that might not otherwise be available to you within your organization because you're the boss, be it the CEO or the owner of your own business.
- Wisdom and learning from past experiences: As a mentee, you can also benefit greatly from hearing the lessons that your mentor has learned along the way through their past experiences - both their successes and failures.
- Improved performance: A good mentor will provide you with valuable feedback or make suggestions that will enable you to improve your skills or to experience personal growth, ultimately leading to your improved performance.
- Talent development: Where a mentor is an expert in a particular field, they'll often be able to spot your unique talents and make suggestions about to how you can further develop and make the most of your talents and gifts.
- A sounding board: Having a good mentor will also enable you to test your ideas and discuss your points of view with an interested listener in a safe and confidential environment.
- Learn how to be a good mentor: The experience of working with a good mentor will also serve as a training ground to enable you to develop good mentoring behaviors and become a good mentor for others.
How much time does it take?
Each relationship develops its own pattern, but as a general rule a mentor is asked to spend two to three hours a month with their student. The ongoing relationship is nurtured through phone calls and email contact.
Mentors and mentees plan their meetings to meet their personal needs. For example, a mentor may take their student to their workplace to give them a first-hand look at “the real world” or simply meet for coffee or lunch regularly. Mentors offer insights on a range of skills – developing time-management strategies, approaching faculty members and supervisors, preparing effective resumes, handling interviews and dressing for success.
Mentors may also take their students to a special conference, a museum, or a cultural event to introduce them to new experiences and broaden their horizons. It’s a wonderful opportunity for leaders who appreciate local higher education at Allan Hancock College to give something back to the next generation of students.
Mentors and mentees are asked to attend 4 general meetings during the school year from the kick-off icebreaker in September to a spring wrap-up reception in early May.
Our Mission: To motivate, empower, and encourage students through mentoring. The mentorship program is committed to building strong, trusting relationships, positive attitudes, and life skills in students through mentoring and social engagement.
Stephanie Robb, M.A.
Director, Student Activities and Outreach
1-805-922-6966 ext. 3734