Mentoring is the chance to “be someone who matters to someone who matters.” Each mentor has the opportunity to create a meaningful relationship with a student where both can learn from one another and grow. Through eMentors, the volunteers have the chance to connect with high school students and share both personal and professional experiences. BestPrep asked two new mentors from Blue Cross Blue Shield about their experiences in the program. The company recently participated in eMentors with a class from Cretin-Durham Hall.
Building a dynamic relationship with the student is often the most impactful experience for mentors. Mentor Sharyl Kaufmann said, “It was refreshing to communicate with a student weekly. It gave my mentee the opportunity to have exposure to a person in a business setting and it gave me the opportunity to share wisdom from my professional journey.” However, building a mentor/mentee relationship over email presents unique challenges. Mentor Tracey Maziarka reflected, “In the program kickoff, we were reminded that a high school student will be more concise. It was definitely true. My first email was an introduction, his name, and that week’s question. As the weeks progressed, his tone became friendlier.” Many mentors share this common experience and truly enjoy seeing the progress a student makes throughout the program. Over the eight weeks, students typically write more, open up, improve on their grammar, and grow.
Mentors also enjoy the opportunity to discuss the weekly topics. Sharyl said, “The weekly conversations were fun and focused on topics that were professionally focused. I looked forward to the next topics and what my mentee had to share.” Students bring energy to their emails and often help mentors think about their career from a fresh perspective. Tracey commented, “Young adults have such an optimistic view of the world and are anxious to make a difference. Having the opportunity to encourage my student’s enthusiasm and give him some help achieving his goals has been rewarding.” Helping students set off on their own career gives mentors the chance to examine their own as well. Sharyl commented, “the program gave me the opportunity to reflect on my professional journey; how the world of technology has changed and the opportunities I had along the way.”
The eMentors program is a fun and impactful way for volunteers to give back. BestPrep is thankful for the companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield and many others that sponsor the program and have employees serve as volunteer mentors. To learn more about eMentors, see our page.