A couple weeks ago, I emceed an event to honor men and women who have made major contributions to the field of accounting and their community.
I was struck by that fact that each of the honorees from the Fox School of Business mentioned a mentor or teacher who helped them in the very beginning of their career.
I asked the audience of successful accountants,
“How many of you had a mentor?”
More than half the hands went up.
Not surprising. There are all sorts of studies that indicate the value of a mentor at the beginning of a successful career. That the most impactful experience in college happens when a student finds a mentor who can work with them one on one.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this a lot as I prepare to watch four of my student workers graduate this week.
I’ve mentored them about life, careers, facing fear.
In return, they’ve reverse mentored me on Google Drive, Snapchat, how to write a tweet or an email a college student will actually open.
I know them; the real them. They know me; the good, the bad, shortcomings and all.
I kind of feel like I got the best part of the bargain.
They’ve taught me so much as I’ve been learning how to go from being a TV News Reporter to Director of Career Services at Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication.
We laughed so hard this week, remembering challenges of looking at resumes all day, trying to help their fellow students launch their careers.
Now that it’s time for THEM to launch… Ahhh… Sad. I don’t want them to go. But, I absolutely want them to go!
Like all seniors before graduation, they are worried about what happens next. But I look at them and know they will all be successful. Like I said, I know them, the character of them.
Kahlita has already been hired by Facebook. Noelle is an amazing creative graphic artist. Hannah is going to be a broadcast journalist rock star. And Katie is my social media/event planning expert. (I highly recommend them all).
Yesterday, Hannah had to show me the 15 steps needed to send out an email blast to students because she’s been doing it so long for me, I forgot how. I know I will have to call them after they’ve graduated because I can’t remember what file we put something in that they created for me.
I also know one day they will stand on some stage being honored, way into the future, maybe when I’m long gone. By then, I hope they will have had many mentors besides me. I’m proud of them already.
I don’t think they have a clue of the impact they’ve had on me…as the reverse mentee.
And, I know I have more wonderful reverse mentors coming my way. I’m just not quite ready yet…but I will remind myself of the immense rewards of that relationship.
If you’re lucky, you’ve dared to mentor. You’re even luckier if you became a reverse mentee.