Happy New Year! In honor of National Mentoring Month, BestPrep’s Communications Intern, Keagan Eng, had the opportunity to interview Chris Hunsaker, an active mentor through BestPrep’s Cloud Coach and eMentors programs and an Annual Luncheon Service Award winner. Chris works for General Mills as the Brand Manager for snacks and has been volunteering with BestPrep’s eMentors and Cloud Coach programs for five years.
Q: Do you have a favorite memory of being an online mentor for BestPrep?
A: My best memories are of finally meeting my student in person at the General Mills campus. That 1.5 hours together makes the rest of the mentorship relationship so much more meaningful and specific. I really get a better sense of who they are, what their goals are, and how I can help.
Q: When you were growing up, did you have an adult mentor?
A: I had two baseball coaches in elementary and middle school who then became my mentors in high school. They taught me to work hard and keep perspective, while believing in my abilities. That belief in me as a baseball player translated to other areas of my life to give me confidence.
Q: As an adult, do you currently have a mentor? How do they help you?
A: I have several people that I consider mentors from my career – most are past managers or bosses that I continue to go to regularly for advice and to bounce ideas off. My mentors help me think through my career steps and which experiences I should have next. They also have helped me become self-aware of how I present myself at work, what my strengths are, my “personal brand,” and where I have opportunities to improve and grow. I owe so much of my career to my mentors’ time, care, and advice.
Q: What is your biggest takeaway from your mentoring experiences? Overall, why do you believe mentorship is a valuable experience?
A: Mentors can create a tremendous impact through small and simple actions. A mentor’s experiences, words of encouragement, and perspective matter to these students. We all have been impacted by mentors who have helped us get to where we are. No matter who we are, or what we do for a profession, there are others who want to take a similar path and aren’t sure of how to achieve their goals.
Q: What is your advice for graduating high school students looking to attend college or enter the workforce soon?
A: Work hard, be kind, and be open to surprising opportunities as they come your way. Some of the best opportunities will be unexpected. Set goals but be flexible enough to jump at an opportunity in the moment if it’s right, even if it wasn’t necessarily part of your plan.
We truly appreciate everything Chris has done for BestPrep. Happy National Mentoring Month, everyone! If you have a mentoring story you’d like to share, post on social media using the hashtag #BestPrepMentors and tag BestPrep.