Allison McWilliams, director of mentoring and alumni personal and career development in the Office of Personal and Career Development, will write occasional articles in 2015-2016 for Inside WFU. This is her fifth for the academic year. In each, she shares observations and suggestions with faculty and staff drawn from her professional experience with students.
Earlier this year a study out of Gallup gained quite a bit of attention. In a survey of more than 30,000 college student graduates, the researchers found six key elements which, if present during college, were linked to long-term success in work and life:
Further, the study found that if participants strongly agreed with the last three items in this list, it doubled the odds that those individuals are engaged in work and thriving in overall well-being. And, of the study’s participants, only 14 percent strongly agreed that they experienced all three of these items while in college. Why is this important? It is a demonstrated, direct link between the work that effective mentors do, in college, and long-term outcomes after college.
This is, we know, a stressful time of year for our students. Final exams, final grades, saying goodbye to friends for the winter holiday (or for some, for longer, if they are studying abroad), thinking about going home and fitting back in with friends and family, thinking about what happens after the break; all of these and more are cause for significant stress.
This is a great opportunity to check in with your students and to demonstrate to them that you are concerned about their well-being, both now and in the future. Here are four simple actions you can take: