Mentors can be incredibly useful tools in many fields, whether it be from a personal or professional perspective, and many people use them to help find a new career, or progress in their current one. While some use the term ‘coach’ in place of mentor, there is in fact, a difference between the two:
Mentoring and coaching, two very different things:
Being someone’s mentor has similarities with being their coach, but mentoring focuses on building a long and lasting relationship that supports the growth and development of the mentee. Mentors are a source of wisdom, teaching and infinite support, but they do not give observational guidance related to certain actions or behavioural changes in daily work or personal circumstances.
Coaches, on the other hand, place an emphasis upon making certain current behaviours stronger, or eradicating them wherever necessary.Usually employed by professionals, they help to correct and strengthen those behaviours that will help the individual progress in their career or improve their performance at work. They are usually taken on for a set period, in which the individual will be expected to reach the targets agreed between the two.
A brief history of mentoring:
Believed by scholars to have been written in the 8th century BC, Homers poem entitled ‘The Odyssey’ is where the term ‘mentor’ is first known to have been featured. The king of Ithaca went to do battle in the Trojan War and left his kingdom in what he believed to be the safe hands of the character, Mentor.
The current dictionary definition of the term mentor, describes it as a ‘trusted counsellor or guide’, or someone who helps you with your career, specific work projects or general life advice based upon their own selfless wishes to help others progress.
Could a mentor help you with your university application?
It is difficult to imagine how a good mentor couldn’t help any one of us, so provided you find a good one, there is every chance that they could go on to help you put forward a successful university application. As mentors are usually experienced professional people who have ‘been there, done that and got the t-shirt’, they are perfectly suited to help give advice and guidance to younger professionals who are just thinking about taking a university course to help give them a worthwhile career. They are of course particularly effective, if they have studied the same course that you will be applying for. While they may not give specific advice on how to complete your application, they will help you to face your fears, embrace your goals, and look at how you challenge yourself professionally and personally. In many cases, mentors go on to help people live their lives to the fullest, and their guidance is often extended far past achieving a place at university, or bagging the job of your dreams.
A good mentor can genuinely be the factor that enables you to progress in life in exactly the way you wish to, whether they are supporting you as you apply for a university placement or helping you to cope with personal issues in your life.