When I first started in the industry, the company I was working for had a consultant on a long-term contract. He had been there (the company) for many years before I had shown up.
It ended up that he mentored me during the first two years of my career. I was fairly new to programming and just beginning to learn Perl and Unix. He directed me in some software design practices, process documentation and how to take charge of the direction my career would take. This all happened by accident since there was no formal process for mentoring and we just seemed to 'click'.
It ended up that he helped me more than I could have imagined and we are still very good friends even though we no longer work together.