Being a mentor is about more than just counselling and advising; it’s about sharing your story and experiences, letting someone know that they aren’t alone in facing the successes and failures relating to the real world because someone successful has faced those problems, too.
It’s about guiding them down the path that you once took.
"There is a high correlation between mentoring and networking opportunities and job placement upon graduation," Ami Hernandez, coordinator of the Oxford Student Career Services, said. "The more access we can give our students to exploring the marketplace, the more they learn about themselves, the better they can articulate the ways in which their strengths can make a positive impact on the workplace, and the more confident they are in assuming their professional identity."
This is what appealed to Ellen Lee, an economics and English double major at Oxford University.
During her sophomore year, Lee was more than willing to enter the mentoring program at Oxford. She attended many alumni events, which led to her meeting Scott Garner, who serves as executive vice president for planning, scheduling and acquisitions with OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network. His lecture, "Anatomy of a Hit Show," is what inspired Lee to apply for a summer internship at OWN, which she received.
"His collegiate experience and interests were relatable to what I'm interested in. I found it refreshing, even reassuring, to see such a unique career," Lee said. "She was intrigued to learn more about the industry, to see if the field would be a good match for her, and welcomed the chance to work with someone like Garner."
During her time in Los Angeles interning in Garner’s department at OWN, Lee learned the ins and outs of how the network operates on both the creative and business sides. The knowledge she attained while interning at OWN can greatly impact her career trajectory, which is why it is important to have a mentor that is eager to help.
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