Today I received a gift that I cannot even begin to say thank you enough for, passes to the STS-127 launch on July 11th. I was given these by a mentor who has been in my life since my junior year at Olin.
This opportunity made me step back and look at how things have changed in the past few years and how much I have learned from Ben. Before this relationship started I never realized the value of having someone around who is completely detached from the situation you are in. I've always had people around who I can ask for help since they've been there before me, but they've always been closely involved. Ben was completely detached. He was half a country away physically, and worlds away otherwise. The value of this became evident when my life needed to be put into perspective. What seemed to me like a big hurdle was small when put into perspective. The job search always seemed like a huge hurdle, but he helped break it down into small bits, showed me how to put the big picture together, and win at the game.
I also see how much I've grown up in two years. I am now a slightly more confident version of who I was then. Part of that was that I kept getting dusted off every time I feel flat on my face, be it failing a test or making an idiot of myself. Last summer's rough spot was met with a lot of "keep going"s along with the knowledge that I always had someone pulling for me. I am very changed from that experience. I cannot thank him and everyone else who pulled me through last summer enough since they kept me in engineering.
Finding a mentor is likely one of the best things that happened to me while I was at Olin. My butt has been kicked when it needed to be. There is a memorable moment when a proofread version of my cover letter came back looking like someone had bleed on it. It needed it. Currently my job interviewing skills are under fire, but again, they need to be fixed. I'm currently not doing well on interviews since I am trying so hard I panic.
Finding a mentor has also allowed me to see my situation from a different perspective and take advice form someone who has experience in a field that I am still attempting to get started in. I have also been able gain exposure to a lot of sides of engineering since I'm the EE who may not exactly be normal.
I had the chance to talk with Ben in early June while he was in between meetings and I had just completed a job interview. I'm fairly certain I will never forget that experience. We have the exact same sense of humor which is dangerous in large doses.
There are never enough ways to say thank you to a good mentor since they can be everything from someone who picks you back up when you fall flat on your face, a guide when you're lost in the woods, a wise elder with answers when you need them most, to even a friend. I'm counting my blessings that I have found a mentor that can do all of that and more. Ben is one amazing mentor, and the STS-127 passes are just more evidence that can be held against him.