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:
- Gain new technical, interpersonal, and management skills.
- Receive accelerated and tailored training and development opportunities.
- Receive constructive feedback on developmental interests.
- Demonstrate strengths and explore potential future career paths.
- Encouragement and support.
Some specific tips for a successful mentoring relationship are:
- Confidentiality – be someone others can trust.
- Establish communication avenues and timeframes for the mentoring relationship.
- Give council on career questions and goals.
- Check on the progress of the goals and objectives.
- 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 is a doctoral student in the Department of Soil & Crop Sciences.