Who knows you best? Did you say your spouse? Your best friends? Maybe your parents?
Regardless of your response, the people who know you best have spent a great deal of time around you and have shared a great deal of experiences with you. You trust their opinions because they may be able to predict how you will react to a new situation, and they’re available to support your progress every step of the way.
When you made the decision to go back to college, your announcement may have prompted a variety of reactions. Some may have asked, “Why would you decide to go back to school now?” Others may say, “I’m here to support you!”
But, what does “support” really mean?
Your loved ones cannot attend class in your place. They will not be able to study for you, read your textbooks or plan your group presentations. In short, they may not really understand what it means to attend college as a working adult. But there’s a group of people who do – our AIU alumni mentors.
Regardless of where you are in your educational journey, an AIU mentor can be a valuable ally and resource for you as you continue on your quest for your degree. How? Read on.
AIU alumni mentors likely are familiar with what you’re going through. Trying to balance work and studying? Feeling guilty because you’re spending less time than you’d like with your significant other and children? Finding it difficult to stay motivated? AIU alumni have been there. If you are struggling with a class, you should speak to your professor or academic advisor. If you are struggling with keeping your personal and professional life intact as you pursue your degree program, a mentor can give you real-life scenarios that they experienced – and overcame.
AIU Bachelor of Business Administration student Melinda Belin details her experience with her own AIU mentor:
“My mentor, Ms. Anabel Velasquez, recently graduated from AIU in 2016 with her master’s in Business Administration. She understands the demands of being a mother and obtaining a degree, and she understands how I feel when I express to her that I feel like I am neglecting my children in conducting family time. She encourages me to keep a balance and make sure that my children understand that what I am trying to achieve not only benefits me, but my family.
“Also, my mentor has experienced extreme hardship while pursuing her degree but she persevered. … All that she had to endure strengthens me to know that if she can make it, I have no excuses. It is a dream of mine to stand where Anabel is today, being able to give back by helping others along the way.”
AIU alumni mentors might know something you don’t. If you are fortunate to find an AIU alumni mentor who completed the same degree program in which you are in, you can pick their brain about specific topics related to your coursework. For example, which professors did they learn the most from? Which classes are most intensive and should not be completed during your busy season at work? How much time did it take them to prepare for the final projects or write the research paper for a specific course? Being privy to your mentor’s insight can help you avoid potential pitfalls that may derail your progress.
AIU alumni mentors may have great connections. Mentors could impart specific knowledge and expertise that contributes to your learning and skill development. Mentors may also be able to facilitate professional networking by introducing mentees to influential individuals within the academic or corporate/organizational field. These important career contacts can help support your career success.
As Belin notes:
“Mentors have the [ability] to share vital information that can increase your chances of employment - what organizational memberships you should take advantage of right now, local or national conferences to attend and much more. And there will be times when you feel overwhelmed with the responsibilities of family, work, school, and just need words of encouragement; mentors are here for that too!”
AIU alumni mentors can be your cheerleader. When you’re working hard to move forward, it helps to have someone on your side to celebrate the milestones you achieve, whether it’s getting through that tough class or making the Dean’s List.
Your mentor can also support you through the tough times. AIU Bachelor of Criminal Justice student Ignacia Kosterlitzky has this to say about her mentor, Vanessa:
“She has helped me with not believing in myself in the beginning of school. I reached out when I didn’t think I couldn’t finish my school work on time. I got depressed with my life and talked to Vanessa about what I was feeling at that time. Her words were so warm and sincere it made me feel like there are people that care. She let me know that no matter what I am going through I don’t have to do it alone.
“Vanessa is the one I called when I had to move and didn’t think I could keep up with school in the process. She has pulled me together when I [was] falling apart. With her help I am able to stay in school and do my best to graduate.”
Learn more about our AIU mentor program and how to request one here. Have questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.