Scholars’ educational achievements and the aura of confidence they perpetually exude are tantamount to their (apparent) readiness to kick-start their careers. But scholars are also human and can be overwhelmed by feelings of trepidation as they make their first step into the working world.
Thankfully, at most organisations scholars can count on the guidance of mentors who can provide invaluable advice and support right from the get-go. These mentors are usually senior individuals who have an extensive understanding of the company and industry at large, and are always willing to offer freshly-minted graduates their insights.
Benefits to the Scholar
As a graduate with no work experience, the learning curve at work can be steep and many things must be learned – and quickly. Mentors are thus extremely valuable – while mentors will not go to the extent of doing scholars’ job for them, they can help scholars mount this steep learning curve by demonstrating tasks, functioning as a guide through problem-solving situations and critiquing their work results.
Furthermore, mentors will help scholars feel less isolated at work and encourage them to interact with their peers. They might even introduce scholars to other professionals in the company and industry and provide them with tips on how to progress their career. These mentors are likely to remain a valued adviser even as they mature in their careers and get assigned mentees of their own.
Benefits to the Mentor
But it is not only the scholars who benefit from a mentorship scheme – mentors receive gains from the mentor-mentee relationship too! The opportunity to teach and advise others can increase their confidence and bring them better job satisfaction.
Mentors are also required to listen to and develop a better understanding of scholars’ concerns. This role will see them tapping on and honing their own communication and supervisory skills in order to respond to and address concerns effectively. In addition, mentors and scholars can maintain a professional connection even after either or both leaves the organisation, thereby expanding the connection network of both parties.
Benefits to the Company
Companies as a whole benefit much from mentorship schemes. When scholars turn to their mentors for guidance and advice, they tend to make fewer mistakes on the job and pick things up more quickly. A well-maintained relationship also allows both parties to derive greater job satisfaction and nurture a positive work environment. It is also likely to strengthen scholars’ commitment to the organisation, even after their bond period expires.
As scholars become more independent in learning from their mentors, companies are also better able to focus their attention on growth rather than employee training. The greater collaboration and sharing of information among scholars and mentees lead to the formulation and implementation of more creative ideas and an overall stronger organisation.
At the end of the day, mentorship schemes are an important aspect of an organisation as they benefit not just the scholars, but also the mentors and the entire company. Scholars should maximise the time they spend with their mentees to reap the full benefits of a mentorship scheme, by asking and learning as much as they can. For aspiring scholars, look forward to the prospect of gaining knowledge from a senior employee and forming a new relationship that’s worth keeping!