Here's Why Every Student Needs a Mentor

Our Head of Growth and a university student himself, James Hendry, explores why professional mentoring is so important.

Why Students Need Mentoring« Back to Articles

As a student myself, it’s obvious while studying at university that people face all sorts of problems, the content of the course itself, the motivation to work, knowing what direction they’re heading in. These aren’t questions which are often easy to answer and knowing who to turn to can be both difficult and nerve-wracking.

When you get a mentor, it’s not the same as going to a member of your department. Your connection with your mentor feels much more personal than it often can with a tutor, who has been assigned to you but sometimes seems like they’d rather be heads down in their research. A mentor has a large amount of experience and is a mentor because they really want to help you and pass on their knowledge the best they can. They’ve been through the daunting tasks which now face you, whether it be needing help in writing a CV, interview practice, recommendations for placements or an honest opinion on the field of study which you’re considering.

Your mentor will provide you with an unbiased view of your situation, which often your family and friends cannot offer. Personally, being unsure myself as to which direction I wish to head in once I’ve graduated, the ability to be able to have someone mentoring you in areas which you think you might enjoy is never a bad thing, the endless meet-ups to discuss how things are going, checkpoints being set for you so there is a constant motivation maintained through a series of small achievable tasks all leading up to an end goal, these will simply improve your knowledge of a specific field, your personal management of tasks, and most importantly, social skills. The latter is never to be underestimated, social skills are a large part of your day to day life and any improvement should be taken in your stride.

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