The notion that it takes a village to raise a child is not lost in contemporary society. From my first steps to arriving in America to attend university, I have never been alone, and I certainly cannot take credit for getting myself to this point. It was the unique mentors found in my teachers, friends, parents, organizations, and friendly strangers who have each played a pivotal role in getting me to this point in my life.
Following my high school graduation in 2018, I began travelling. I spent a winter working and skiing in Falls Creek, Australia, followed by a winter skiing in Jackson Hole, WY. Though I was largely alone in these endeavours, I never felt unsupported or isolated.
Throughout these travels, I was mentored by my friends: those who had no professional experience, were on an entirely different path than me, and had never touched snow in their life. These fundamental differences in our life experiences did not force alienation, but instead brought us closer.
I cannot see the role of mentors in my life changing; their pertinence to my life and others is invaluable. It was for this reason that I decided to become a mentor for students who wish to “Focus on their Future” over the next month.
Over the course of the next 4 weeks, I, along with two other mentors, will work with students to refine and improve skills pertinent to their future success and provide an insight into the world of global academia.
The upcoming Focus on the Future workshop is a targeted and informative event that aims to educate students who are interested in graduate schools, interview skills, studying abroad, and internships. Though I am woefully inexperienced, the workshop will feature professionals in their field who will guide students towards a greater understanding of their own opportunities.
The program, organized by Writing Specialist Doe Dahm and held in the Academic Support Center, will provide students with invaluable knowledge concerning multiples facets of education free of charge.
Stocked with snacks, door prizes, and cider, the event is open to all students who wish to further understand the academic and career opportunities available to them.
The program’s first workshop begins on Oct. 25, with presentations regarding graduate school opportunities, highlighting the McNair program. Though to many students, graduate school seems a distance away, gaining an insight towards the daunting prospect of further education can ease the process.
In addition to myself and the mentors, presenters Britt Green and Megan Foote will dispel the myths surrounding graduate school.
Nov. 1’s workshop emphasizes the vital skillset of interviewing towards both educational and career aspirations. A visit from Rutland Young Professionals ensures students will have a concrete foundation regarding the tricky and complex prospect of interviews.
The following week, on Nov. 8, will reveal the plethora of study abroad opportunities for students. The session will clarify the financial affordability of studying abroad and provide students with the opportunity to speak with a panel of peers who have undertaken a study abroad program.
Finally, Nov. 15 represents the enticing world of internships, where Castleton’s Jessica Duncan will reveal the pivotal role internships can play towards future success. In tandem with a panel of students who have experienced internships, the session will no doubt clarify the reality and relevance of internships.
Though a mentor is widely regarded as an individual with a wealth of expertise and knowledge, at times, it is those just as lost and confused as you who provide the most support and advice.
After having moved to America to attend Castleton, I find myself surrounded by friends who double as mentors daily. The understanding that mentorship is not contingent on expertise encouraged me to take on this role as a peer mentor.
I hope that in addition to learning the reality of academics and career success, the workshops divulge the foundational role friends can play in individual lives, given the opportunity.
If you are interested in learning more about these areas and getting to know myself and the other mentors, make sure to visit the ASC from 12:30pm to 1:30pm during the aforementioned Tuesdays for the chance to learn invaluable knowledge within the academic and working sphere and apply them to your life.