Mentors: Compasses of the Professional Journey

By Michelle Hill | Program Director, North American Society for Trenchless Technology

Person holding a compass in her palm

Photo credit: ESB Professional /

Mentoring is a huge passion of mine. It's such an incredibly rewarding experience for both the mentor and the mentee. 

Passion for Mentoring

I've been involved with the WISE Within mentor program for six years now, serving ad a mentor this year and in 2011 and as the chapter chair of the program the four years in between. Being the chair of the program was such a wonderful experience. I was able to connect with everyone in the group, along with the chairs from other WISE Chapters. The choice to step down this year and return to mentoring was a tough decision, but I craved the deeper connection you can create with a mentee. This was, in fact, what inspired me to get involved from the very beginning. 

The reason I'm so passionate about mentoring is because I have three amazing mentors myself. My dad, who inspires me in more ways than I can count, teaches me daily about kindness, generosity and positivity. My friend Elizabeth, who was a former boss, reminds me of the power of putting intentions out into the universe. And Derek, a board member for my organization. I could only dream of one day being as poised and professional. These three wonderful people are my compass. 

Lessons Worth Sharing

Knowing how much I've gained from my mentors drives me to want to be a good mentor to others, and through my experience with WISE Within, I have learned to do just that. Among the lessons worth sharing:

  1. Mentoring isn't as difficult as you may think. Yes, there is a time commitment, but a simple 15-minute phone call might be all your mentee needs to get energized and stay focused. 
  2. Being a mentor can be very motivating. It helps you concentrate on your own goals and how you want your life to unfold. 
  3. Mentoring someone can be as structured or as unstructured as the two people see fit. In fact, sometimes you don't even know you are a mentor to someone. Not too long ago, I had a former employee who has since become a friend tell me that I have been her mentor for the last 14 years. I had no idea, but I was so touched by the compliment!
  4. The reward of being a mentor is unparalleled. Your mentee's goals become your goals, and it's a great feeling when they are successful. 

So what are you waiting for? Be that compass for someone. You won't regret it. 

Michelle Hill

About Michelle Hill

Michelle Hill is the program director at the North American Society for Trenchless Technology, where she plans multiple seminars, trade shows and webinars throughout the year. She received her bachelor’s degree in communications from Ohio University, where she planned her first special event. Hill served as WISE Within chapter chair from 2012 to 2015.

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