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The value of mentors

Nathanial Matthews

Simply defined, a mentor is a wise and trusted counselor or teacher. The value of mentors goes beyond that of a typical contact in your network. 


For mentees, having a mentor allows you the opportunity to interact with a true professional in your field. Mentors help foster a sense of confidence and support. They provide important advice drawn from their years of experience and they open doors to opportunities and their own networks.


To find your own mentor, you should begin by identifying someone that you admire and respect. Although it is not necessary, finding someone in your field or a similar field can also beneficial. Consider your goals when choosing your mentor. Would you feel confident in talking to them? Do you think they will be helpful? How has their career progressed in a way that you would like to mimic?


Once you have identified a possible mentor. Approach them with an email and a follow-up phone call. Ask them if they would be willing to mentor you. Outline the terms of mentoring, so they understand how much of their time you will need. Tell them how you can help them.


Mentoring someone can be a rewarding experience. Furthermore, mentors can gain fresh connections into their networks through their mentees.


Once the mentor has agreed to work with you, you need to decide what you want your mentor to assist with. Have some specific goals in mind when you talk to your mentor. Think about the things they can help you with.  Remember that they are probably very busy. You don’t want to waste their time or yours!


Develop the relationship so that it is both friendly and professional. Mentoring can be a valuable experience for both the mentor and the mentee.  Whether you have a mentor or you are considering being a mentor – the rewards are great!


The first round of the IWC Mentor Program, as part of the major Alumni event (IWC Water Wall) is currently underway. Alumni Coordinator, Nate Matthews, has worked with both Alumni and the IWC to pair up Alumni with prospective mentors. We are all looking forward to seeing the outcomes from this initiative. 


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