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Mentorship as a Tool for Student Success

“A mentor is someone who's been where you are now and willing to impart the wisdom of experience and to help you avoid the same pitfalls.” -Mindtools Team, 

Never underestimate the impact of mentorship! 

Mentors play a critical role in personal and professional development. Whether you need professional advice for starting a business or are seeking career-building guidance, a mentor can help you reach your personal and professional goals, setting you up for success. 

Whether a mentor provides professional or personal guidance, the relationships that develop from a mentor match can often make the difference between someone who gains confidence to one that may fall behind their expectations. Mentors can be a sounding board to build your personal and professional confidence. 

I still remember my first college mentor. She was there for me when I needed academic support and most importantly, there when I needed someone to talk to. My mentor had a tremendous impact on my character, and without her, I may not have completed my degree. In fact, to this day, I remember many of the ideas she shared with me that helped me build my self-confidence and set goals for my future. 

Where Do I Find a Mentor?  

Here are some places to look: 

  • Professionals in the Community – Some business organizations require their management teams to become volunteer mentors in their local community. Identify the local businesses in your community you may be interested in and inquire if they have mentors looking for college students. 

  • Local Community Libraries – Libraries have access to volunteers who are looking to give back to their community through mentoring college students.  

  • College Academic Resource Centers/Career Centers – Academic resource centers are located on most college campuses and can provide volunteer mentors to help with academic or career advice. 

  • – For over 50 years, SCORE has been providing mentorship to anyone interested in starting a business.  

  • Small Business Association (SBA) Chapters – Most communities have a local SBA chapter, and they can match college students who need business startup advice with local business owners.  

  • Local Incubators/Accelerators – Many of business entrepreneurship centers offer mentoring for college students with new products and services. 

  • College Alumni – College alumni associations have access to potential mentors. Many graduates are happy to give their time to mentor new students. 

What Can I Expect from a Mentor?  

Mentors can provide a variety of help, including academic guidance, business advice, and career readiness skills. Mentors have been known to:     

  • Provide expert knowledge in a particular subject area. 

  • Offer additional academic support outside of the classroom. 

  • Provide business start-up help. 

  • Deliver career advice on how to find, apply, and interview for a new position. 

  • Motivate students to set their college and life goals.  

  • Introduce students to the mentor’s network to increase their visibility. 

  • Offer a forum for the discussion of new ideas. 

  • Stimulate confidence and motivation. 

  • Clarify the student’s purpose when developing goals. 

  • Share inspirational ideas to promote success. 

  • Open doors for their mentees by sharing their professional networks. 

How Do I Make a Mentor Match? 

Thanks to our ability to operate in virtual environments, mentors are no longer limited to meeting face-to-face exclusively. Once you have identified whether you need academic or personal advice, you can pool from your community of mentors and set up either face-to-face or virtual meetings. Not every mentor will be a perfect match, so it may take a few tries before finding the best match. 

Mentoring is so powerful that many businesses are now adopting mentoring programs within their organizations as a means “to promote active learning, help foster diversity in the workplace and provide career growth.” (Bass, 2021, p42)  

Working with a mentor will set you up for personal and professional success. A mentor can bridge the gap between what is holding you back from performing at your best to giving you the courage and strength to complete your goals.   


Bass, S. (2021). Successful mentoring for apprentices. Benefits Magazine, 58(8), 40–45. 

Home. MindTools. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2023, from  


About the Author

Greta Kishbaugh is a full-time business faculty member who loves giving back to her community through mentoring. She enjoys working with new business students and finding mentor matches for all students who are looking for a mentor for the first time. When Greta is not doing yoga, she is spending time with her two boys who love to come up with new ideas every day. She believes that mentoring can make the difference between students who simply “give up” to students who see their college degree to the finish line!

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