The opportunity to advise a student group or organization is not one that every professional gets,however it can be highly rewarding.
An advisor is able to observe the personal and professional development of college students as they become leaders in their community. More significantly, good advisors can play a large part in that development.
Advisors are mentors, teachers, supervisors, leaders, and motivators. This is true whether advising was a role that was chosen or assigned. The good advisers are the ones who can balance these roles, meet the challenges, and grow from the rewards.
For advice on how to develop your advising skills, here are some helpful links:
What Kind of Advisor Are You?
Additional recommendations are in the following books:
Dunkel, N.W., & Schuh, J.H. (1998). Advising student groups and organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Emmett, M. (2000). Advising student government: Advice for student activities professionals. Campus Activities Programming, 32(7), 63-67.
Although often associated with the business world, mentoring is just as important, if not more important in the college community. Mentoring allows professionals to share their expertise and experiences with students to help develop the mentees' full potential. Mentees are able to work to improved their leadership skills, increase technical skills, gain opportunities, and make valuable connections. However the mentee is not the only person who benefits from a mentor-mentee relationship. The mentor also has the opportunity to continue developing. The mentor grows as a valuable leader, invests in the future of their field, develops a renewed professional motivation, and maintains fresh perspectives.