Author Mark Twain said, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” Alumni, how did you get to where you are now? How did you get started? Did you know that you can help current BYU students get their start? Mentoring is an easy way to give back your alma mater.
Benefits for Current Students
What are the benefits for students? Steve O’Brian, Customer Success team leader at Chronus, a company that designs software that facilitates those mentoring relationships, lists them as:
- Help finding jobs: “Smart universities are improving job placement rates after graduation by developing students and alumni through mentoring programs. These development programs connect and enhance a student’s networks to provide them with better tools for their job search.” Have you ever had someone who taught you the tricks of the trade? How helpful was it? Wouldn’t you want to do the same for someone else?
- Encouragement: Getting a college education can be difficult. Alumni members of all professions and backgrounds can make a difference by mentoring and encouraging current students. You can help give them the confidence and boost they need to continue their education and to succeed.
However, it isn’t just students that benefit from mentoring: You can too!
Benefits for Alumni who Mentor
Here are three ways you as an alumni can benefit from mentoring a current BYU student:
- Stay involved: Professor Sarah Stanley of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said, “Often alumni want to become involved in activities that further promote and serve the university, and being a mentor allows them to become involved.” There are other ways to be involved than by donating money. If you aren’t in the position to give financially but still want give back to BYU, then look into mentoring!
- Recruit workers: When you mentor, you establish a relationship with a student. You’re passing on the skills of your trade and teaching them how to thrive in the workforce. By the time they graduate, your student will most likely need a job, and since you’ve already trained them, they make good ideal candidates.
- Feel happier and healthier: “Generosity has been found to reduce stress, increase longevity, and produce happiness hormones,” says Sandra Gurvis of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. “When [people] helped others, they felt more energetic and stronger and even experienced a sense of euphoria, or ‘helper’s high.'” By mentoring and being generous with your time, you help others and yourself. Says BYU Psychology professor Brent Slife in his soon-to-be-released book Frailty and Flourishing: “Self-benefit and other-benefit are usually and naturally co-mingled because relationships and mutual activity are central to a good human life. Attempting to separate them into egoistic and altruistic activities is a pointless distraction from the primary business of acting well together.”
It’s obvious that mentoring a student will greatly impact their college experience and future career while strengthening your relationship with BYU and making you overall happier. It’s a win-win. So why not take the plunge? Here are some websites to help you out:
For General Mentoring: Alumni Career Services
For Political Science Alumni: BYU Political Affairs Society
For Economics Alumni: Alumni Mentoring Program