Keeping it Reel

4 Reasons You Need a Mentor

 

When I was growing up I always wondered why real life wasn’t like fantasy. Why there was no magic to learn, no dragons to slay, no castles to siege. Its weird though, the thing that always bothered me the most didn’t have to do with going on adventures…it had to do with learning. 

I would spend my nights reading fantasy novels where some old and wise master would meet a young and disheveled youth. Deciding the youth needed guidance the master would share his skills. During the day I would head to school, sit in a boring classroom and feel like I was learning nothing at all. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t learning from a weird. old master…performing crazy tasks and having crazy adventures –“You will go film a humming bird boy. Do not come back until your footage is so clear that I can count every flap of the bird’s wings.” – I realized too late that many of my teachers were in fact masters that I never bothered to learn from. 

The modern day master:

Today, most masters are referred to as mentors. They are professionals who know the skills of their industry so well that they are sought after to impart their knowledge. What’s the benefit of having one of these so called mentors teach you? Take a look. 

1. They know you as an individual

A mentor knows you on a personal level. They know your hopes, dreams, fears, challenges, strengths and weaknesses. It is because of this that they know how to motivate you as an individual. They can address your concerns and speak to your passions. When you are having trouble with a certain task or assignment, they can give feedback that is specific to you. They know how to teach you because they know you.

2. They have been where you are.

Generally speaking, advice coming from someone who hasn’t been in a situation similar to yours is somewhat lacking in empathy. How can a person who has never experienced what you are going through provide any kind of reassurance? Well, they can’t. A mentor doesn’t have this problem. A mentor knows what to say and when to say it because they were once learning as well. You know you can trust their advice because it comes from experience. They can give you personal stories of failure and triumph to lift you up or bring you back down to Earth. They have experienced what you have, and that makes them the perfect guides to finding success.

3. Knowledge.

Along with experience, a mentor has years of knowledge to impart. Sure, google is great, but a mentor can give detailed answers and insights in a matter of seconds (no page scrolling required). A mentor can provide you with wisdom that would take you years of trial and error to gain on your own. They know their trade and all of its inside tips, tricks, and secrets, and they are willing to share them with you. A mentor teaches more than just what is required, they teach what is truly important to the craft.

4. They provide credentials and connections

The cold, hard truth is that a lot of times in life it isn’t about what you can do, but who you know. While not entirely fair, if you know this rule of the world, you can use it to your advantage. By simply dropping the name of a professional in the film industry you  might be able to get that interview you need. When you work under a mentor, you are automatically gifted an “in” with certain people. You essentially inherit their connections. They can recommend you for jobs, be a reference on applications, abd maybe even employ you or suggest you for certain projects they are working on.

How Can You Find a Mentor?

At CCH, we pride ourselves on having a staff full of mentors. Industry professionals who are more than willing to share their knowledge roam our halls. If you are interested in learning from a mentor, download our application checklist below and see what you have to do to get started with us.

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This blog is a collaborative effort by CCH staff and administration who want to share their knowledge with the film school community and prospective students.