In college and my professional career, I’ve attended many conferences and workshops that have at least one topic focused on the importance of mentorship.

Every business professional I’ve spoken to has insatiably stressed the importance of finding the right mentor, to advance personally and professionally.

Having the right mentor means having a support system outside of the office, having an opportunity to learn new perspectives, while having someone that can hold you accountable to achieving your goals.

Over the past few years, I’ve had the honor of having a number of inspiring mentors that have molded me into the professional I am today and as I pondered my experience with my mentor I started to think about my role as a mentee. It led me to remember my time at Promise South Salt Lake, I worked with junior high schoolers during the afterschool program, managing programming and overseeing the art program. Naturally I put myself in the role of a mentor, spending time with the youth and helping them explore professional and personal opportunities for growth. Little did I know that my mentees had an even greater effect on me in the years to come. Being a mentor taught me patience, leadership and most importantly resilience and what resiliency looks like.

The students helped me grow as a person and explore the multiple facets of effective communication, interpersonal development, compassion and most importantly how to have fun.

Three benefits of being a mentor:

Lessons You Teach Are a Good Reminder for Yourself.

I spent  a lot of time guiding mentees through conflict resolution, motivating them to complete their projects or adding a few words of encouragement so they can be the very best version of themselves. I would always remind students of their self worth and that they should always believe in themselves to do great things. What I didn’t realize is reiterating these fragments of advice gave me a constant reminder to follow my own advice.

You’ll be challenged to think through your thought process.

Telling a student “I told you so” doesn’t cut it anymore. There will be times when your mentee will challenge your thought process by asking questions and the best way for you to believe in your throughout process is to be challenged in thinking it through. The mentee’s inquiries are crucial in understanding both your perspective and theirs.

You will learn something from your mentee.

In the process of creating a relationship with your mentee, you will begin to learn from them. I promise you your mentee will share their wisdom with you whether they know it or not.  The more you engage and converse with your mentee, the greater the experience and the more you will learn in turn.

-Teresa Bagdasarova