“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”
— Steven Spielberg
Whether we realize it or not, many of the most compelling anecdotes of the power of mentorship come from our own experiences. Throughout our youth, we are surrounded by mentors: our parents, siblings, teachers and community members.
Interestingly, we rarely label these relationships as mentoring ones. As youth, we think of these relationships as part of growing up — that quintessential period of our lives when we seek to understand the world around us and to learn through the experience of our peers.
As we transition into adulthood, that dynamic changes, and instead we want to show the world that we are confident, self sufficient, and able to find solutions on our own. Unfortunately, we also tend to forget how valuable those mentors of our youth were, and we stop turning to our peers for advice. For many, it is only later in life that the value of our mentors is re-learned, and then cherished once again.
So what is the power of mentorship?
It is the power to shape better experiences for ourselves by learning from the experiences of others.
It is the power to hone our ideas by taking in new perspectives, and to learn the things that we were blind to before.
And most importantly, it is the power to do the same for others, paving the way for future generations to be even more successful than those that came before.
Your years on campus are among the most formative of your life. It’s your chance to set your career off on the best foot, to live and engage in a community of students and educators, and to discover yourself as you transition into adulthood.
As an undergraduate you will meet and befriend many new people. It is too easy to let these new peers be limited to the students surrounding you in the classroom. However, it is the other students that you should not lose sight of – the students who have accrued hundreds of hours on campus and in the classroom, the students that have deep knowledge of the ins and outs of college life. It is these relationships that are overlooked and undervalued. These are the mentoring relationships that serve to improve and transform the college experience.
It is these relationships that define our mission. This is why National Engineering Mentors Organization (NEMO) was started. Our mission is to build a community of students and professionals committed to building a brighter future through mentorship.