Growing up, I was very fortunate to be given experiences in my life that helped to develop into the individual who I am today.
I played sports, where I learned the importance of teamwork and leadership. I participated in the fair ambassador program, where I developed self-confidence and public-speaking skills. I helped on my family’s farm, where I grew to understand and appreciate what it means to be determined, patient and a good communicator.
While these experiences – along with many others – helped me become the person I am today, having a mentor has helped me continue to develop into a better version of myself.
Mentors come in all shapes and sizes. They can be someone within your family, a stranger that you meet at an event or one of your co-workers. Regardless of their background, the effect that mentors have on mentees is incredible.
Though the author of this quote is unknown, the words describe the role of mentorship perfectly:
“A mentor is not someone who walks ahead of you to show you how they did it. A mentor walks alongside you to show you what you can do.”
These words have resonated with me. One of my greatest mentors has maintained this philosophy throughout our relationship.
This mentor challenges me to find answers on my own, but recognizes when I need help or guidance to get back on the right track. They understand how powerful it is to share their knowledge, while also letting me gain valuable experience on my own terms.
A mentor is more than just an ear to listen or brain to pick. A mentor helps a mentee build confidence, self-awareness and independence. A mentor knows when you need that little extra push so your wings carry you further than you ever thought before.
For anyone considering participating in the Ag Women’s Network mentorship program, I highly recommend it. It is programs like these that help to develop the next generation of strong females in the agricultural industry through mentorship, networking and communication-building activities.