The Other Side of Mentorship

by Susan Mathieson

Throughout my years in graduate school and my time as a professional staff member, I was really great at seeking out mentors and utilizing them for all [thousand] of my questions. I have been lucky to have mentors to turn to and help me navigate the bumpy road of being a new professional. When I was going through my post-graduation job search, I was never alone when wanting to weigh my options. My friend Andrea would constantly send me opportunities for professional development and my one of my mentors, Stephen, always inspires and motivates me to create change.

A few weeks ago as my staff was gearing up for a regional association conference, I noticed our graduate student asking me a ton of questions. At first, I found myself getting agitated that she was asking me the simplest of things. After answering the first few questions, it dawned on me that she was only in her second semester of graduate school and is about to attend her first professional conference. I then thought back to my first professional conference in 2011. I remembered how anxious I was and how I probably hounded my supervisor about every detail (sorry Kendra).

Because of our graduate needing some advice, I was reminded that mentorship is not a one way street. That I can serve as a mentor to those starting out in the field, share my experiences and help them like many others have helped me.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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