Appraiser’s Diary: Mentorship

By Rachel Hoffman
   Last month, my column was missing. I wasn’t sure anyone would notice – but Dewey Smith called me to see what was going on. Dewey is a local Senior Personal Property Appraiser and a local legend for his work. He has mentored me in my appraisal practice, and sent some good assignments my way that have helped me advance my career. His call which was a quick check-in, got me thinking about mentorship. Many youths have wished upon a star for a mentor, for mentors are like stars in the heavens. They instill hope and confidence in the young of acquiring practical knowledge and achieving noteworthy goals. Mentors offer youths or beginners in their field special opportunities for gaining experience in their chosen fields and learning important skills. Do you remember your first mentor?
   We have thousands of excellent schools, colleges, and universities. But the education they impart is often of a general sort. Students and graduates benefit in many ways from mentors. Mentors point out resources that are available, and they caution against common mistakes. (Dewey helped me with a lot of that when I did my first appraisal for a divorce case.)
   Mentors guide beginners over obstacles and simplify their lives. There is no substitute for the rewards of interpersonal relations. Knowing someone is qualified and willing to help us relieves us of stress and prevents early “burn out.” Mentorship is one of the most ancient forms of education. It continues today because of its effectiveness. It is practiced through either formal or informal channels. Associations have been formed to promote high standards of mentorship.
   The desire to serve others and faith in humanity can lead to success. Most successful people have credited their success to others.
   Thank you for the call, Dewey! If you would like to learn more about Dewey Smith’s appraisal practice, search his name on
   Photo 1: The Centaur Chiron Educating Young Achilles, fresco from Herculaneum, 1st A.D. (Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, Italy)
   Photo 2: Age Teaching Youth by William Blake, watercolor c. 1785 (Tate Museum, Westminster, London)

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