The Mentoring Process
- Be proactive: you are responsible for making the initial contact and follow-ups.
- Be responsible: follow through on contacts, meeting dates, and e-mails.
- Show a commitment to your profession: ask about how the field is changing, what the challenges are, and how YSPH can prepare you.
- Receive constructive suggestions in a professional manner. This is a “risk-free” relationship from which honest assessments should be welcomed.
- Provide feedback: tell the mentor when you take his/her advice.
- Look out for the student’s welfare: this relationship is about using your experience to anticipate challenges and point out opportunities.
- Scan the professional environment: what changes will affect the field and how?
- Provide a personal touch as well as professional advice: a personal connection may provide the glue initially.
- Provide encouragement and support: honest criticism has its place but encouragement should be the goal of the mentor.
- Help with networking: use your contacts to expand the student’s professional network.
- Demystify graduate school and the profession: help make the transitions from school into a career easier by giving the mentee an insider’s view.
Ensuring a Productive Experience for Mentees and Mentors
- Engage in an ongoing conversation: frequent updates are the best way to maintain a productive relationship.
- Have realistic expectations: discuss what you both think can be accomplished from the very start and set realistic yet ambitious goals to achieve them.
- Maintain a curious attitude towards all interactions: sometimes you cannot predict where your interests and experiences may be aligned.
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