Updated: Oct 10, 2018
“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Isaac Newton
9 REASONS YOU NEED A MENTOR!
They are experienced with their own success stories and know what it takes to succeed.
They provide a different perspective and can see where we need to improve even though we may not see it. A mentor can help to identify skills, strengths and weaknesses that others have not noticed. When we discover the exact field, there is a more precise match with our abilities.
Provide knowledge and information – Mentors are able to fine tune and transform your vision using their knowledge. They provide ideas, thoughts and insights that challenge and enable you to see beyond your sphere of influence. Mentors amplify visions by elevating your thinking capabilities.
Find ways to stimulate our growth. Mentors coach and prepare you for change. You cannot operate solely on hard work but rather on smart work. They encourage you to get smarter about people, relationships, processes, opportunities, and strategies. Great mentors help you get smarter with their wise counsel. Mentors push us past our limits. They prevent us from doing less with our lives than what we would if left unassisted.
Are encouraging, motivating & inspirational. They praise your successes, guide you in extracting lessons from your failures and by doing so push you far. Push you to go further and challenge.
Are honest as well as disciplinarians – Their guidance prevents missteps that could otherwise derail your success. Mentors protect and nurture their proteges from premature exposure.
Give advise – Mentors are able to give life lessons and want you to succeed and use their words and actions to support you.
A great networking tool – Mentors elevate you by making their shoulders your platform. They carry you up, demonstrating their trust as their extensions is a critical validation that will eventually open doors and grant you access to opportunities beyond your circle.
Free – Mentors tend to give their services for free as they have a genuine interest in seeing you succeed therefore are willing to commit their time and level of expertise to help your journey.
MY MENTOR EXPERIENCE
At the start of my second year in Sixth Form (year 13) my friend informed me of a mentoring scheme set up to help young Afro-Caribbean students aspiring to study medicine in my area. The mentoring organisation set up by a group of doctors with experience having completed the admission process and worked as part of the admissions department for many medical schools.
I was introduced to the founder Dr A, a young GP and told her a bit about myself and my journey to study Medicine. We conversed regularly via email and she encouraged me to write my first draft of my personal statement. Over the next 6 weeks I would redraft my personal statement about 3 times per week. Initially, I was shocked at how honest and cutthroat she was and many times I would feel discouraged but with each adaptation to my personal statement she would encourage me and leave a motivational message reminded me of my goal at the end.
She organised practise interviews for me with other doctors acting as the interviewers and made sure I was able to answer particular questions confidently with sound answers. As well as encouraging me to read a lot of news about healthcare advances and the NHS as well as not to rehearse my interview answers too much. Dr A provided me with constructive feedback and made be feel prepared for each of my interviews.
Dr A also made the effort to meet my parents as she felt it is important to understand the support system I had as well as ensure my parents were comfortable with the mentoring. This resonated well with me and my family and we were able to form a friendship with Dr A. Every time I look back on my journey to Medicine I can’t help it remember Dr A as she was a great part in ensuring my success and made my application much better than it originally was. After my successful entry we continued to keep in contact and it is amazing sharing my progress with her. Her guidance and advise helped mentally prepare me for Medical School and built up my confidence. I would strongly recommend any student applying for medicine to find a mentor as they really give your application that extra edge.
WHERE CAN I FIND A MENTOR?
African Caribbean Medical Mentoring (ACMM) is an organisation which helps mentor prospective Afro-Caribbean medical students through their throughout their application to Medicine. Their mentors are qualified doctors or current medical students who provide one to one support with personal statements, interview preparation, admissions tests and so much more. Check out their website: http://www.acmedicalmentors.co.uk/