Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations


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Author(s): Jamie S. Switzer (Colorado State University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 5
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch124


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Colleges and universities are adept at teaching students in the academic sense. Often what is lacking in a student’s education is a thorough grasp of the “real world”; how their chosen field actually functions and operates. One way for students to gain an understanding of a particular occupation is to interact with a mentor. Mentors can offer valuable intellectual resources to students (O’Neil & Gomez, 1996). Regardless of the quality of their education, students still need the practical information that can only be provided by a working professional who can present students an awareness of the real world (O’Neil, 2001). A mentor, however, is much, much more than a professional with unique expertise in a specific vocation. While mentors do provide career knowledge and the means for technical skill development, mentors can offer a myriad of services. They provide support, encouragement, and guidance. Mentors act as role models, teaching and nurturing students, demonstrating appropriate skills and behaviors. They are friends to students, providing them a means to network and find jobs.

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