I have heard from multiple student affairs practitioners the importance of having a mentor. Somehow I matriculated into the profession without having a true mentor. This doesn’t bother me because I believe I have taken the right steps to be successful in the field. I also feel that I have multiple mentors who have played important roles that have helped guide me through key decisions from undergraduate roles to my current position in student affairs. I have maintained positive relationships with current and former advisors, co-workers, and supervisors. Nevertheless, I do feel that I am somehow missing an important aspect of being a student affairs first year professional without a true mentor.

It was not too long ago that I applied through a student affairs association for a mentor. The response I received was that based on my professional areas of interest and the limited number of mentors that signed up for the program, there was no match. Here’s where I messed up. I stopped looking for a mentor at that point. Nevertheless, I’m back on the search.

Plan of Attack

  1. It’s a small profession, right? I will connect with former colleagues and advisors to see if they have possible mentors matches in mind. 
  2. Contact current professionals in the field to generate conversations about the profession, and my professional interests.  
  3. Set an ideal date for finding a mentor.
Dear future mentor:

Please challenge me to be bold in the profession. My goals are simple. I want to continue researching, writing, and engaging in conversations that involve the future of higher education. I want to integrate my public relations background in all the work I do because I’m passionate about effective campaigns. Also, I would like to lead my own team one day. I’m looking to learn more about your role in higher education and in your work environment. I would like advise in which direction I should head toward based on my specific goals, and any other insight would be great!

I look forward to meeting you.

Joshua Wilson

Student Affairs - the First Years

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1 comment :

  1. What an awesome way to approach finding a mentor! Thank you for challenging us all to continue to be bold in the profession and work we do!


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