A mentor definitely helps, in almost all cases.
An apprenticeship (internship) can count as direct job experience. Having a mentor does not give you job experience. Knowledge, perhaps. Realism. Help with goals. Who knows. But having a mentor doesn't actually give you experience doing a job - except being a mentee.
deff going thew apprentiship best way to learn a trade. most every union has them. first few years ya work for less and take classes but, in long run you will be good at your trade and earn good living.
Of course not. Kissing butt helps with job experience.
Absolutely. For letters of recommendation too