Understanding the Role of a Mentor in Education

7 minute read
Role of a Mentor

Life is filled with unpredictable events that make us feel anxious about the next step. The deciding event could be our next academic step, next career lead, or an estate establishment.  We encounter these risky moments and feel the need to reach out to someone who can guide us and overcome the uncertainty. These huge steps incur changes, demands, risks, and high stakes. That’s when our mentors come into the picture. These qualified people have the correct wisdom and experience to guide us in their field of expertise. Let’s go through the role of mentors and know more about their importance.

Check Out: What is Educational Counselling?

 “If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.” – J Loren Norris

What does a Good Mentor do?

The origin of the word mentor can be traced back to Homer’s epic ‘The Odyssey’, in which Odysseus entrusted a ‘mentor’ with his son, Telemachus while he went to the Trojan war.  A mentor not only teaches you valuable aspects of life but also supports and motivates you with your decisions. The essential role of a mentor is to provide its student with unbiased opinions and advice by keeping the reality and facts in check. A mentor has to be objective and must not coddle. They pass on their knowledge and continue their legacy. 

Mark Zuckerberg was also mentored by Steve Jobs, the late Apple founder- during the early years of the company.

Importance of a Mentor in Education & Professional Development

The world has witnessed great people achieving massive things when a mentor was by their side. Mentors have always been working behind the curtains and pushing their mentees to acquire the best. Let’s get to know about the importance and the role of a mentor in facilitating the educational and professional development of their mentee. After all, every ‘Harry Potter’ needs his ‘Dumbledore’!

  • A mentor essentially helps the student take informed decisions at each and every stage of their academic and professional quest.
  • They are the guides that light up our way ahead, whether we are stuck in our career choices or need assistance at any crucial stage of our lives.
  • You might land up at your most desired job position or execute your business idea, but to know the ropes, you require guidance from someone you can trust. 
  • A mentor provides you with information that might not really be in any book. These details come from their experience and expertise in the field. 
  • Mentors have tried and tested certain ways through the world and know what works when. For example, if you are heading for a negotiation with a client, a mentor will know what exactly to say and what to avoid to take the lead.
  • Mentors not only physically strengthen and support their mentees but also provide psychological and personal development. 

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” – Denzel Washington

The Role of a Mentor

Mentors can be found across different fields and professions. They could be an academic mentor, professional mentor, sports mentor, etc.  Terms such as advisors, motivators, coaches, etc, are often used interchangeably for mentors. All these terms together are what makes a good mentor. Let’s go through the fundamental role of a mentor in any field.

  • To begin with the basics, the role of a mentor is to understand your capabilities and interests. They simply do not start with random instructions. They try to know what you are capable of and then guide you accordingly. 
  • A mentor simply doesn’t tell you what to do or how to do something. They break down the goal plan for you and guide you with the advantages and drawbacks of actions to take for each step. They might tell you about their past mistakes for you to draw an analogy. 
  • A mentor serves as a positive pillar for the mentee. In situations gone astray or losses, they also push you to your best potential and suggest ways to come out of it.
  • A mentor should not abstain from constructive criticism. Honest criticism or appraisal is essential for a successful and fruitful relationship between the mentor and the mentee. 
  • Another vital role of a mentor is to respect the opinions and ideas of their mentee. Holding a senior position doesn’t mean there isn’t any more room for learning. A good mentor will encourage such ideas and boost their mentee’s confidence. 
  • A mentor also helps you develop a good attitude while dealing with people in different positions. 
  • Actively listening to the mentee is another crucial role of a mentor. This quality cannot be emphasized enough and must never be overlooked. Listening to someone and merely hearing are two very different concepts and a mentor must always be good at the former. 
  • A mentor must not hide his failures and always be open to feedback and doubts. These failures don’t mean the mentor isn’t good enough. On the contrary, it shows that the mentor has been able to overcome these obstacles and prove himself as a dynamic achiever. 

Mentoring Skills

There are some important skills that a mentor must have in order to help their students or mentee the most. These are some of the most important skills of mentoring. 

  • Ability to listen actively
  • Capability to build trust with the mentee
  • Encouraging their mentee
  • Aware of their goals and the situation or hurdles that stand between them
  • Ability to instruct well
  • Inspirational
  • Provide constructive feedback
  • Able to manage adverse situations
  • Provide visibility to mentees

Leadership and Mentoring Skills

Leadership and mentoring are the fruits of the same tree. While both may require some specific skills, there are many which are fairly similar. Both leaders and mentors should be:

  • Good listeners
  • Must have a broad perspective
  • Have good storytelling skills

Ways to Improve Mentoring Skills

Now that you know about mentoring, learn about how you can improve your mentoring skills.

  • Acknowledge Conflicts of Interests
  • Act as a sounding board
  • Choose feedback carefully
  • Ask open questions
  • Provide a fresh perspective
  • Seek out new experiences
  • Build Confidence
  • Understand Personal Desires

How Leverage Edu Mentors Can Guide You?

Whether you are facing obstacles at any phase of your academic quest or finding your dream career, Leverage Edu mentors are here to equip you with the best guidance in taking the informed decision towards a rewarding career! With our student-first approach, we have brought 2000+ mentors that are pioneers in their own fields and at Leverage Edu, we believe that the core aim of educational counselling is only fulfilled when the student gets the best possible education to leverage their skills into landing their dream career! Here is how we understand the role of a mentor in facilitating the educational and professional journey of a student:

  • Psychometric Test: Once you have reached out to Leverage Edu, our professional counsellors began with a Psychometric test to help you assess your strong skills, passions as well as your career direction.
  • Leveraging Your Dream Career through Mentorship: Confused about making the right career choice? Aiming for a career change? Want to master a new skill or plan to get back to the classroom? Our exclusive mentorship program for working professionals is here to assist you at every stage of your career and carve the path to your dream profession with customised mentorship!
  • Avail Global Opportunities: Not sure about how to get admission into your dream university abroad? Our Leverage Edu head coaches and mentors will guide you through the process of selecting the right university and program and further gearing up a winning application including SOPs and LORs as well as getting the right scholarships.
  • Standardized Test Prep: Apart from helping you throughout your university application, Leverage Live provides exclusive online classes for standardised exams like IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT and SAT to help you get the dream score you want and ace your application!
  • Experiential Learning: Plan to accentuate your expertise before taking the big leap in your career? Our Leverage Edu mentors will help you find the right program and university that fits your interests and aspirations and can equip you with the right exposure and knowledge to make it big in your career!

To conclude, the role of a mentor is quite indispensable in contemporary times and can have a huge impact on the people they guide. People have experienced transitions with the help and support of such mentors and this phenomenon of trust is essential in the world for great possibilities. Struggling with your career choices? Our Leverage Edu mentors are to provide you with the best guidance and mentorship to actualise your career aspirations and leverage your skills and knowledge towards your dream career! Sign up for a free session with us now!

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