My name is Don Thrasher and I am currently the President and Chief Operating Officer of Circus Circus Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and in Reno Nevada. My first experience with the mentoring process occurred when I was in college and I was in need of career guidance. I was pursuing a degree in business administration but really had no specific business career in mind. I was fortunate to have one of my undergraduate accounting professors take the time to talk to me about career direction and he advised me to get a degree in accounting as a more specific business direction. He told me that in the world of business you needed to understand the numbers no matter what position you held in the organization. He also indicated that this type of education would open doors for me for many other opportunities in business and I wouldn’t need to stay in the accounting world for my entire career if I didn’t want to.
This is something that I communicate to the students I mentor today. They need to educate themselves in such a manner that they put themselves in a position for opportunities to come their way in the future. Rarely does one land their absolute dream job right out of college, it is usually a process of gaining experience and putting yourself in a position to capitalize on an opportunity when it presents itself. Most people change careers several times in their life but it is their original educational foundation that allows them to make these changes. Today I know that the guidance I received was invaluable and really did put me in a position to have the satisfying career that I have today.
The mentoring process benefited me and that is why I feel and obligation to give back and mentor others. In our society today there are many talented young people who haven’t had the opportunity to receive guidance in regards to a career but also in many other aspects of life. The general knowledge about life and the world that I learned from my parents is not as prevalent in our society as it was when I was growing up so the need for people like myself to fill the mentoring role is great. It makes me feel good to know that I can help someone in some small way get on the right path to success, that’s why I got involved with StudentMentor.org.