Having a mentor is a pretty powerful thing.
It’s more than just having someone give you advice. A true mentor not only gives advice, but supports, guides, teaches you, etc. I’ve never really had a mentor before I started here at Milliner & Associates, but I definitely think everyone should have one through college and beyond.
Nicole is my boss and mentor. She encourages, teaches, supports and advises me. She pushes me (gently) past my comfort zone so that I can grow both as a person and a professional. When I’m struggling, she helps me through it with support and encouragement. She gives me honest feedback, and she isn’t afraid to tell me things, even when it is hard to hear. But it’s always constructive, and she never makes me feel bad, but helps guide me when I need improvement. It’s funny because I see her as a friend, and am comfortable talking to her about a lot of different things, but I also respect and seek her approval on many things.
Just a few weeks ago Nicole had asked me to help her put together a survey for her Indy Chamber Ambassador group. The next week she told me they were going to discuss the results at an upcoming meeting and asked if I wanted to come. Of course I agreed, I couldn’t pass up such a great networking opportunity. But then she surprised me by asking if I wanted to present the results myself. I couldn’t believe she was trusting me, an inexperienced intern, to present information to her high-level business colleagues. I was so excited, nervous and determined to make sure Nicole felt confident about putting her trust in me like that.
I made sure I was practiced, prepared (okay probably way over-prepared is more accurate) and ready to present on the day of the meeting. It went really well and everyone was impressed and complimented me and Nicole on our great work. Everyone’s comments made me feel great, but Nicole made me feel like a million bucks. She talked me up to everyone and told me how proud she was of me and how great of a job I did. I couldn’t have done it without her constant support and encouragement. And the knowledge that I made her proud and happy she put her trust in me was an awesome feeling.
Having a mentor at this point in my life, when I am about to graduate and start my career path, is a priceless thing. The confidence I need to move forward is being cultivated and I feel like I have the chance to go so much farther than if I were on my own.
“A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future, and believe it can be obtained.” – Shawn Hitchcock