So at work, I have acquired a mentor. She’s been my husband’s unofficial mentor since he started working in this building a year and a half ago. I had no idea what the hell a mentor is or does, so when he told me to ask her *based on a convo they had previously* to be my mentor officially, I was like…what for?
Here is what a mentor is: an experienced and trusted adviser.
This is what they do: What does a mentor do?
The following are among the mentor’s functions:
- Teaches the mentoree about a specific issue
- Coaches the mentoree on a particular skill
- Facilitates the mentee’s growth by sharing resources and networks
- Challenges the mentoree to move beyond his or her comfort zone
- Creates a safe learning environment for taking risks
- Focuses on the mentee’s total development
And so on and so forth. I’ve acquired one and we’ve had two official meetings, although I see her in the building all the time. She even came to our Day of the Dead party back in November. She is a cool lady, very professional, smart, capable, and a total fucking badass.
So session one she gave me some books to go over and I did, and asked about goals (I had none) and evals, which I gave her the whopping 3 I’ve had in my 4.5 yrs of employment here. Two are excellent. One is not so much. Not so much is during the year of my kid trying to cause as much hassle as possible and my Grandpa dying. The one this year should be much better.
Anyway, she asked yesterday about my educational background, since she didn’t know it. I laughed and said that’s because I don’t talk about it. Which is kind of odd, as I work in an educational environment. I mean, this is the Board of Education, ya know? Everyone here is rocking masters degrees unless they are a secretary of some kind.
“Some college” is the appropriate answer. I am 1 Math class and a repaid Pell Grant away from holding a piece of paper that says “Associates” with my name on it. I am about 40 credits past that towards my Bachelors degree. I will need to switch colleges; hopefully my credits all go with me. I need one that my work direct-pays tuition to, since a: I have never failed a college class. Even during one of the worst times of my life I only pulled a C and for gods sake that was in Business Law I, which is not really an interesting class.
All of my college, minus the first semester, has been done with online courses. Not University of Phoenix, which I don’t think is a real university at all. The classes I’ve taken have been difficult; they require effort and time management and when I pass them I am fucking proud of myself. Generally I have a full time job, and I’ve had Ivy and Jason since I moved to MD (prior to that: 9 credits), so maintaining an A average is pretty damned good.
When she heard that was all that was in my way, she “strongly encouraged” me to find that money somehow and pay them for the Grant, then finish the Math, enroll in a direct pay school and get moving on finishing. I guess you have more value with a Bachelors. Although–> in my place of employment you get the same flat bonus per year whether you have 12 college credits or more until you get to the PHd. YEAH.
I was doing Cybersecurity Policy with a minor in Communications. Working in tech for 4.5 years has somewhat burned me out on the idea of completing the Cybersecurity. I am interested in it; but I am bored with fixing hardware and software, meh. I think I’d prefer to learn more of the actual security aspects of it. Which I imagine come further in to the degree, which is where I am about a class away from.
When I think of having an Associates, my head spins. Nobody else in my family has a degree. They could, but my bro got kicked out of college and hasn’t bounced back, and my Dad never bothered to take the few courses to offset 24+yrs of military XP to get his Bachelors either. My in laws–both have Masters Degrees. Sister in law–working on her masters. Her husband is working on his as well. Husband? 4 yr degree. So yeah..I am smart enough, and finally willing to admit that, but then, there isn’t anything to stop me from leaving here and doing something really challenging.
I mean, don’t get me wrong it’s prob going to take me 3-4 yrs to finish the Bachelors because we get a limited amount of tuition reimbursement but..am I really worth it? The mentor thinks so; she says it is an investment into myself because what if something happened to the husband? Which I did think of, back during the almost-divorce. Having a bachelors in a field where it is useful along with years of XP and a certification or two would definitely boost marketability and self-sufficiency.
I am afraid to try; afraid to fail; afraid to succeed.
If I get the degrees, and the certification, and it leads to better jobs, more opportunities…what if I totally blow them? If my family is right and I am really not that smart, not worthy?