October 18, 2019, by Katie Watson
Five Things A Mentor Can Do That Google Can’t
By Katie Watson, BA History student blogger
Why do you even need a career mentor when you can just Google everything you need to know? With the internet we have so much access to knowledge however most of us still feel like we need some guidance on our career paths. That is why we need human mentors because there are some problems a simple Google search can’t solve. Here are five things that your mentor can do that Google can’t.
1. Personalise their advice to your situation
When you Google a question you often keep it short, uncomplicated and brief. However, your situation might not be short, uncomplicated or brief. Google can provide you with information quickly but sometimes the information is general and you have to spend lots of time dissecting webpages to find what is relevant to you.
With a mentor, you can take your time to explain what your situation is. The problems you perceive. Solutions you have tried that have failed. And most importantly, how you feel.
2. Form a human connection
A mentor can offer you something that no search engine can – emotional support. Think about it.
- Does Google ask how you are?
- Does Google tell you to make sure to get plenty of rest?
- Does Google say good luck before the exam season?
- Does Google say congratulations when you experience success?
No. But a mentor can do all of these things.
3. Refer to their own real-life experience
We are lucky at the University of Nottingham to have such successful alumni. It would be naive to think that they did not experience any problems getting to where they are now. There will certainly be differences between you and your mentor. One is that they are further ahead in their path. However, it may surprise you that you will also have lots of things in common.
Got that rubbish feeling after getting rejected from another application? That is okay. Your mentor has been there and done that. They have experienced the same low and have some advice for you.
4. Allow you to practice your own conversation skills
Haven’t you heard? Emotional intelligence is now more important than ever. In the workplace of the future, the skill that is really needed is the ability to interact professionally with other humans.
I never realised this at the time that I was involved in the mentoring program, but looking back it was great practice for my conversational skills. Learning how to articulate your thoughts and opinions is crucial for the workplace and having a mentor is a great way to improve your communication skills.
5. Meet you in person
I was lucky enough that this summer I was able to meet my mentor in person. It was brilliant to discuss my internship and ask for advice on certain topics. Having a mentor is truly better than just googling your queries because you don’t just get answers. You also have a connection for life. Even today, my mentor still asks me how my work is, sends me articles of interest and comments on my work.
The mentoring scheme is a great way to find a connection in your desired industry that can aid you throughout your entire career journey.
In this digital age even Google still thinks you should have a mentor. If you feel inspired to get involved, visit the Career Mentoring pages on our website.