The Mentor Hunt – Where Are You Going?

Every now and again, I put myself out there. No life vest, I just jump straight into the water and hope for the best. Attending a regional conference last month I took this chance and introduced myself to a senior student affairs (SA) professional who I thought could be a positive influence in my life. I didn’t have to know him, but I liked what he stood for and his message, “the Five Tools to Success as a Professional.”

To take you back further, a few months ago I wrote a post about finding a mentor and what that meant, how a mentor relationship forms, and the virtually non-existent mentor matching programs for young professionals. I didn’t get very far with my own pursuit until here recently.

After I introduced myself to the keynote speaker, I connected with him following the conference about his tools for success and also about the possibility of becoming my SA mentor.

He said that he takes those requests seriously and didn’t feel that he would be able to commit the time needed to be a successful mentor. I respected his honesty!

Nevertheless, fate played its card again, and I ran into this keynote speaker at a second regional conference only weeks after his previous regional engagement. We were able to speak again and he said that it was no coincidence that we ran into each other. He then sent me off with homework – this I didn’t expect.

He gave me a simple but not so simple task of evaluating the Four Fs: Friends, Family, Faith, and Finance in my life. How did I want the Four Fs to factor into my life? He also wanted me to identify my 5 Year Personal and Career Goals.

I since then have been able to meet his request and bring to paper the many ideas swarming in my mind. Sure, things will change and nothing is concrete, but it helps to have given serious consideration to what I want to do in life and in this profession.

Since meeting this unofficial SA mentor, I continue to see the importance of finding a mentor, friend, colleague that can help point us young professionals in the right direction.

So, whoever reads this post, take your mentor search seriously. I’ve heard from several of you that you have encountered similar obstacles in your search to best direct your SA careers. If you want to connect and talk more ways to interact with Senior SA professionals, hit me up @jjwil325 Twitter Handle.

Joshua Wilson

Joshua Wilson

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