Having a mentor improves chances of success

Students should consider a mentor a necessity, not an option.

Kei-Lynn Wheaton, Staff Writer

A nervous new student awaits his first day of classes. He sits in the student lounge and overhears a conversation about a mentor who helped someone with their success and gave insightful advice. He sounds excited because he has someone to depend on and ask questions about life or the road map for his career. He might wonder to himself if he needs a mentor. Even if he does, he does not know where to start. This is a reality for many Biola students today. 

NPR highlights three criteria when trying to find a mentor—finding the right mentor, making the ask and being a good mentee. 

These may seem like trivial steps, but the information is crucial to the student’s rising success in their respective field. Not just any mentor will do. The ideal candidate requires research and interviewing on the part of the student. The American Speech-Language Association explains that an excellent mentor has good listening skills, is successful in his career, is dedicated to the success of the mentee and will help them network.

Becoming a mentor means taking on the responsibility of someone else’s success. The mentor does not lose anything if they are not successful, but the mentee experiences negative consequences for choosing a mentor who lacks dedication or preparation for the responsibility.  


Mentoring is especially important for those hoping to work in Christian professions. Seminary and divinity schools require the rigors of secular schools but with one particular difference. These students strive to be pillars of faith to those who are lost. A mentor for a seminary or divinity student not only offers advice on their career, but also their spiritual health in day to day life. 

A spiritual mentor is someone who reminds their mentee that God is the ultimate reason for pursuing a career. He is what drives the late nights, discussion boards and Zoom meetings. It is easy to get lost in work and forget the decision to pursue an education in the first place. Consider verses such as Proverbs 27:17 which says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” God calls all to be mentors in one form or another.


Mentorship goes beyond an academic place. Older adults also benefit from spiritual mentorship. Young children beginning to understand who God is and what his word means to them also need mentorship for their development. People who grow in their relationship with God go on to inspire others. 


Help and guidance is needed to reach the finish line, and becoming or finding a mentor can be a gratifying experience. The mentor gains someone whom they encourage and advise. While the mentee gains a confidant and supporter during possibly the most rigorous part of their lives. 

For those in the position of being a mentor, be empathetic to the needs, advice and mentorship of those seeking a mentor as well as what the mentee needs. After all, it is the mentee who is asking for guidance. 

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