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Multiple Access Points

Posted on March 30, 2009

Nalini Negi (bio) advises building a team of mentors who use different kinds of communication.

 

One of the things to think through is there's different people. Different people have different strengths. So probably accessing, for example, I have different mentors for different things. I know there's a certain senior person that I know that I can call up, and she will give me very practical ideas about what to do in terms of, when I was in the job market, she would give me practical ideas about, "Okay, this is what you need to do," and step-by-step sort of instructions. And I could access her on her phone, and I felt comfortable enough doing that.

I have other mentors who I would never call up on the phone but, at the same time, they were there and they could give me some sort of information or some sort of guidance in regards to overall pictures or overall ideas or maybe thinking through specific questions that I had about funding mechanisms, et cetera.

The best sort of advice that I can give is accessing different people for the different strengths that they have because certain people may not be appropriate or accessible the way that you would like them to be for certain things, but they have knowledge or backgrounds in some aspect that you're trying to tap into or trying to gain knowledge about, and that's instrumental.

So really thinking through, developing almost like a mentor team. People that you know and people that you can think through having different strengths and that you can try to access via email, phone, et cetera during times that you may need to.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2008 National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse Conference in Bethesda, MD.

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