I was fortunate last evening to attend my first mentoring event at the University of Central Florida, College of Business in Orlando.
Not sure what to expect as I went in excited and anxious to learn about the program and have a chance to meet a few students.
Wow, was this a great event! It started with the mentor reception prior to actually meeting students in a "speed dating" type atmosphere. ( Wish I had more time with each student ). The room was packed with enthusiastic people wanting to offer their guidance and experience. I met individuals from all facets of business. From HR to a retired engineer for power generation plants. What a diverse group of experiences and leadership that came together to offer their input.
The highlight for me was meeting the students and hearing what they hoped to obtain from a mentoring opportunity. Each one had their own reasons and they varied from looking for an internship to getting advice on what they should do to succeed in their field. ( Not sure what I could offer to the accounting majors for guidance in their field ).
At the end of the "interview" I asked each student what they felt was the one trait that is ( in my view ) the most important to have to be successful. The answers varied as you could imagine. But, one student hit it correctly COMMUNICATION. I explained that no matter what field or business you go into if you can communicate and articulate your thoughts, ideas, passions and insights to get people to listen you will be successful! Hopefully, that resonated.
I encourage everyone to take the time to get involved. It doesn't have to be a formal program at a college, it could be in your company or in your community. Each of us have something to offer. Share it..
At the end I wonder who is the real mentor me or the students I had the honor of meeting.
What a great learning experience!