When I was in my early twenties I was having a hell of a time breaking into the advertising industry. Maybe the economy sucked. Maybe my book wasn't that great. Maybe I was just to shy too make calls and nudge people.
Whatever the case, somehow my book made its way to a pretty famous creative director called Shep Kurnit. He was the "K" of a well-regarded agency called Delehanty Kurnit & Geller or DKG. He had a good reputation in the industry and was kind enough to send out four letters for me to prominent creative directors. None of whom hired me, but eventually Shep's fondness for me did help me get a job working for a guy who used to work for Shep. It was my first agency job.
It's 30 years later now, and I'm still thankful to Shep. Shep died just before my father did in 2001, but I still think about him and how he helped me.
He never taught me this but he might as well have. When a bright, young, eager person finds you and asks for help, help them. Introduce them to people, criticize them constructively. It's the least you can do for the help you got along the way.