February 2021

Do you have a mentor?

A mentor can be a blessing in many ways, from providing a listening ear to reviewing a resume. Benefits of having a mentor are numerous and include:
  1. Gain new technical, interpersonal, and management skills.
  2. Receive accelerated and tailored training and development opportunities.
  3. Receive constructive feedback on developmental interests.
  4. Demonstrate strengths and explore potential future career paths.
  5. Encouragement and support.
Mentoring is a two-way relationship. There are benefits for mentors and mentees.  An exchange of information can give insight to both people, and many mentors learn from their mentees.  In my personal experience, being a mentor has brought great satisfaction by lending a confidential listening ear, seeing my mentee professionally develop, enjoying sharing my expertise and introducing the mentee to my network of colleagues.

Some specific tips for a successful mentoring relationship are:
  1. Confidentiality – be someone others can trust.
  2. Establish communication avenues and timeframes for the mentoring relationship.
  3. Give council on career questions and goals.
  4. Check on the progress of the goals and objectives.
  5. Share professional development opportunities.

The challenge is finding a mentor who fits your personality and career needs.  There are many people willing to be mentors, and making the right connection is crucial.  This can be frustrating, but not having a good mentor will reduce the amount of input you could benefit from for current and future career endeavors. 

—Jodie Reisner

Jodie is a doctoral student in the Department of Soil & Crop Sciences.

About the Author

image of author Rob Dixon

Rob Dixon

Rob joined the Graduate and Professional School in February of 2020. He oversees graduate marketing and communications. His favorite part of the job is sharing student successes with the world.

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