It’s the age old question on students’ minds, “What am I going to do after college?!” We’ve all asked it. It’s what we’re here for. And figuring out the answer can be very overwhelming.
What if there was someone to help you through this? Good news: there is. Mentorship and expanding your network can be the best way to set you on a path toward success and help provide some career clarity.
Thousands of Boise State graduates went through a similar experience to you and made it through. Connecting and talking with alumni is a great way to learn about what they did to get where they are. Who better to give advice than someone who has stood in your exact shoes before. You know what they say: “Hindsight is 20/20.”
Boise State senior Emily Hester works as the Campus Food Pantry operations and sustainability coordinator. Under the guidance of her mentor, Lauren Oe, she’s been able to combat food insecurity in the Boise State student population head on, while developing professional skills.
Emily is a huge advocate for developing a mentor relationship during your college years. “I definitely think students would benefit from a mentorship relationship. I think having someone throughout your life to help guide you based upon their experiences and what they’ve learned to help you grow is so beneficial.”
Lauryn Roper, a career counselor at Boise State, encourages students to make connections with professionals in their field and find a mentor. According to Lauryn, making new connections doesn’t have to be intimidating. “I tell students to set up informational interviews with someone in a career they are interested in and ask them questions about what they do, how they got there, and any advice they would have for someone pursuing this career.” The best way to see if you would really like a career is to talk with someone in that career.
When it comes to job searching, it helps to have connections and a mentor to help you. You’ve probably heard “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” and while your education is very important, it’s your network that often helps you get a job where you can use that education. A mentor can help you develop your network or even be a referral for you. Lauryn tells students, “When you have a mentor, you also have access to their network, which then opens you up to more opportunities.” When you’re applying for a job, if the employer knows you outside of just a resume or gets a referral for you from someone they trust, that is your ticket to an interview.
Finding a mentor might seem like a daunting task. Luckily, your next mentor could be just a few clicks away. BroncoLink is an online connection and mentoring site for Boise State students to connect with alumni (there are over 1,000 potential mentors on BroncoLink!). They’re ready and willing to offer advice to students interested in a field they have experience in.
All Broncos have access to BroncoLink. Just sign in using your Boise State email and password and complete your profile. It only takes a couple of minutes. After that, BroncoLink allows you to reach out to alumni and even suggests people to connect with based on your interests.
— by Maggie Short, career development ambassador