Coach a Student
In today’s hectic world, you may be reluctant to take your time to mentor an aspiring entrepreneur. However, past mentors have found the benefits are many, including:
- Making a lasting impact on the community and the next generation of leaders,
- Helping local business by helping students set more realistic goals and be better prepared to work after graduation.
- Contributing to your own business goals. The relationship you develop with the college student will introduce you to the energy, creativity, and ideas of a generation that can be nearly impossible to access any other way.
Making The Right Match
The Southern Management Leadership Program Director matches students with mentors who have an interest in working with students and are in a business or industry that is compatible with those of our students. It is important to realize that a good match may be made immediately, but sometimes, due to students’ schedules and responsibilities or special interests, there may be a lag between the time you request an mentee and when someone may be recommended to you.
Mentors should be willing to make a commitment to be accessible to the students they are working with. Frequent contact assists students in their growth and helps them reach their fullest potential. Expect to listen, support, serve as a role model, and develop a relationship that fosters the students’ own motivation to grow and develop professionally and personally.
Mentorships may occur at the mentor’s workplace or another public space such as a library or coffee shop. The important thing is to provide mentoring in a safe and comfortable environment—and on a regular basis.
As a mentor, you will offer encouragement as well as strategies and advice to help them deal with problems and obstacles that may show up. The key here is to keep the student motivated so that he or she will not give up on the goal of achieving personal academic and professional goals.
Know that the final stage is friendship. The mentor must remember that, along with being a teacher and a coach, the mentor is most importantly a friend who is there through thick and thin. The mentor is the sounding board for anything that bothers or troubles the student.
The student is expected to maintain a constructive relationship with his or her sponsor. This includes frequent contact at a regular time that is mutually agreed to by the student and sponsor. Students should always be prepared to make the most of scheduled meetings, trainings, or other responsibilities.
In addition, all SMLP students will report to their Program Director on a regular basis about their experience as a mentee or intern. Because in some cases, internships are supported by the program through a small stipend, it is also the students’ responsibility to keep track of the hours they are spending. The program will supply forms for this purpose.