AgCareers.com July 19, 2017
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What’s In A Mentor?
By Megan Karlin, Agriculture Future of America

Behind each of our successes is a strong system of mentors, who push us and help polish us. Perhaps the most influential time for mentors to give us a leg up is during those first few years in the professional world.

Mentorship – both having a mentor and serving as one – is an essential value of Agriculture Future of America’s Alliance for young professionals. Alliance member Ty Littau says he appreciates his mentors who have challenged him and kept him grounded. Fellow Alliance member Ellen Gilliland says mentors not only push her but also help her set boundaries and seek needed rest.

“I appreciate that my mentors have been concerned with my personal life as well as how I perform professionally,” she said.

Agreeing, Jon Calhoun says, “A good mentor is genuinely interested in finding what your interests are and helping you get to the next level.”

FINDING & DEVELOPING MENTORSHIP

Each relationship looks different. Some develop from traditional supervisor–employee roles. Gilliland, project manager for Ohio Corn & Wheat, says her supervisors have been some of her best mentors. For Littau, having a strong mentor relationship with his colleagues was one of the reasons he left his home state of South Dakota and took his current position as legislative correspondent with Senator John Thune in Washington, D.C.


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