In 2021, I applied for and was granted the Global Internship Program with UC Berkeley during the summer. Through this experience, I had the opportunity to complete hours of research on water irrigation systems and the implications of war on infrastructure in my home country, Yemen. Without my mentor, Anna, I would have never applied for this internship. This was an amazing educational experience, and it was with the support of Anna that I pushed myself to apply for the program.
One day, Anna and I scheduled a time to hang out on UC Berkeley’s campus to catch up on life, school, and work. It was a normal and casual conversation. We laughed and shared our struggles, what we were working on, contemplated goals and aspirations for the future, and more. At one point, I expressed to Anna my interest in working in government or policy. That’s when I learned that she worked in government for over 10 years. After our chat, Anna kindly sent me a list of resources and opportunities within policy and government (see below!), one of them being the Global Internship Program at UC Berkeley!
I share this story in hopes of providing other scholars with an example of ways to use our mentors and the importance of scheduling consistent conversations. We forget that mentors too have completed college, looked for jobs, and have experience in fields that we aspire to work in. We also forget that they are kind and eager enough to share these resources with us, but are waiting for us to do one simple thing—ASK. Surely, you will benefit from every exchange with your mentors, and they are always willing to provide us with the information and resources they have at their disposal to help us succeed!
There are so many ways in which we can utilize our mentors and what they have to offer, to push ourselves towards our academic goals and aspirations. However, it takes time to find out your mentor’s strengths and abilities, which will allow you to figure out the best way to work with them. Find out what your mentor can do and seek assistance from others if they cannot help you. Below, I’ve listed some ideas for how to make the most out of our amazing mentors, that will help you flourish in your desired field of study!
Batul is a passionate and hardworking BCS transfer student studying Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. She will be graduating this Spring, officially making her a first-generation college graduate. Batul has also obtained education in Political Science and Psychology, which are both fields she wishes to pursue in the near future after earning her Bachelor’s degree. In hopes of becoming an advisor or counselor, Batul aims to commit time and dedication to internships and volunteer work centered around peer mentorship for scholars like herself.