Mentors play a vital role in shaping peoples lives both personally and professionally. Personally, if it were not for mentors I met at a young age when I was working on the golf course I may have never went to the University of Michigan and I may have never found an interest in business, yet over the years these experienced professionals helped guide me in the right direction and opened my eyes to a world of opportunity that could be unlocked with hard work and determination. While I am no longer spending my summers carrying golf bags (an honest job I would recommend to anyone looking for a first job) I still find that there are mentors in a formal and informal sense that help guide me at work today.
In the most formal sense I was assigned a mentor in the beginning of the summer and I often work for this mentor as well. This individual has helped me better understand the industry and often takes time to explain why we are doing what we are doing. I enjoy working with this person because I feel a lot more connected to the projects I am working on. It is not uncommon to be working on what could be a relatively small piece of a much larger puzzle and I think it is very helpful to understand how the pieces fit within the larger picture. By happenstance I have acquired a few other mentors whether from working certain projects or by discovering a shared interest. Those people have also pushed me to learn more and work even harder.
After this summer and for the foreseeable future I hope to continue finding such influential mentors no matter how old I am. To have the experience coming from someone that likely went through what I am going through is invaluable at the end of the day. It can sometimes be easy to fall into a trap of thinking that I know exactly what I am doing and how the best way to do it is, and just when things start to go wrong a mentor can be a great person to set me back on track and explain what happened so I can make the most of my mistakes and grow. Having studied great people throughout history I saw that most of these people with great impact also had great mentors, not because they were dumb or even inexperienced, but because a mentor can cause people to stop and reconsider how to approach problems, consider how to live a happy life, and help us accomplish our dreams.