Friend, confidant, sage...an academic advisor guides a student freshman through senior years.
Academic advisors answer questions, help with course scheduling, suggest resources and more.
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Mentoring Fosters Personal and Professional Growth
Mentors can be professors, administrators, staff, coaches, alumni, career-affiliated professionals and other individuals who motivate and lead your student to areas of growth and achievement through exploration, focus and action.
While some mentoring relationships develop on their own, others are concerted efforts. A student may have one mentor or a number of them who fulfill differing needs—personal, professional and/or career-associated.
For example, a mentor can benefit your student personally by helping him/her to self-define strengths and weaknesses as well as to explore areas of leadership, esteem and character. An invaluable resource, this person can assist your student in times of frustration and challenge as well as motivate him/her to achieve personal growth.
Another key mentoring role can be that of a professional nature. In this case, a mentor can help your student prepare for graduate school and/or a career through experiential learning opportunities. Because the nature of this focus is often academic, professors aptly serve in this role.
At BW faculty and students interact through research studies, projects and co-curricular activities. The Undergraduate Research and Creative Studies program is an umbrella initiative that promotes inquiry-based learning, scholarship and creative achievement.
Mentors also can assist with career preparation through internships, informational interviews, networking and job opportunities.
Qualities of a good mentor
In choosing a mentor, your student should look for someone who:
- He/she admires and respects, both personally and professionally.
- Can be trusted with confidential information.
- Meets his/her mentoring needs—personal, professional and/or career-associated.
- Shares similar values, ethics and morals.
- Will be honest with him/her and offer constructive criticism as well as positive feedback.
- Has good listening and articulation skills.
- Is positive natured.
- Understands the role of a mentor and is committed to helping students.