Campus leadership roles are often misunderstood. When people think of being an Orientation Leader, or any higher ed leadership position, the first things that usually come to mind are 1980s college movies where the student with the most “school pride” blindly follows wacky traditions. But being a mentor at LIM College means much more than being a face of the school. It’s an opportunity to help students seeking advice on how to navigate this confusing chapter of our lives called college.
During my time as a mentor at LIM, I’ve had many roles on campus. I have been a First Year Experience mentor, Orientation Leader, Career Peer and aSummer Fashion Labmentor. (When I saw the young people I mentored in the summer program apply to the school of their dreams and become part of the LIM community, it was the best feeling.)
As mentors, we advise students on a variety of topics. Some questions are simple, such as how to get to certain buildings. Some want to know about my academic path in fashion. I’ve told students about my experience and discussed how to make the most of different LIM departments—such as EECM,Academic Advising,Student Finical Services, etc.—that help students structure a plan to achieve specific goals.
A lot of benefits come with being a mentor. You build relationships with staff and fellow students that are useful while you’re at LIM and after graduation. You form bonds with people you wouldn’t expect. I've made close friendships that I cherish deeply with people I can truly rely on. You have the ability to make the college experience what you want it to be. You are holding events to build a community.
People ask me all the time why I became a mentor in the first place. Part of that drive started in high school, when I was part of a youth program called American Legion Jersey Boys State. That’s where I learned about the importance of leadership and giving back. I was later invited on as staff, where I got to watch high school juniors transform into young gentlemen that will be productive citizens.
With everything I do, I want to cultivate a welcoming environment where people want to be. I love getting a text or Instagram DM from people who thank me for caring about them and helping to change their life. No money or object could match that sense of accomplishment.