“Who is your mentor?”
“Where did you find your mentor?”
“How did you find your mentor?”
“What qualities did you look for in picking your mentor?”
“What did you say when asking your mentor to become your mentor?”
These questions get asked a lot from students looking for the perfect mentor. Finding a mentor is key to your success. Ask any successful person if they have a mentor and the answer will always be, yes. Reaching success is NEVER a one (wo)man thing, even though the end product is you.
I have SEVERAL mentors, men, women, African American, Caucasian, and Indian. I always tell people that you need more than one mentor because life is different from person to person, one persons experience is never mirrored to the next. I started my journey in looking for mentors very early in undergrad with my first being my African American male chemistry teacher.
When looking for a mentor, I simply wanted someone that I looked up too, was in a similar field of work, could have a casual conversation with that was willing to drop tidbits of knowledge and rooted for me all in one sentence. While this is what worked for me, it may not work for you. Obviously, in my initial search for mentors I looked for scientists and dentists. As my goals and dreams have grown to different ventures, so have my mentors. Also, the more people you encounter when telling people your dreams, you’ll realize the more they say they are rooting for you, but withheld important information. THOSE PEOPLE YOU DO NOT WANT AS YOUR MENTOR! Once you find out important information is withheld, move on! That’s not the mentor you want.
Lastly, the one thing I did NOT do is ask someone could they be my mentor. I simply begin calling, emailing, texting them more often. I would ask relevant questions about dentistry and life. I would engage is such conversations that they began calling, emailing, and texting me casually to talk and give advice. I’ve always heard to never ask someone to be your mentor and I’m not really the reason other than it seems like a pretty awkward conversation.
If you haven’t started yet, start looking for a mentor. It doesn’t matter what field of work, motivations, or opportunities you are looking for. It’s always good to have someone you look up too and can learn from in your corner.