A Variety of Mentors

Posted on January 19, 2010

Be open to developing short-and long-term mentorships, advises Jacqueline Resnick (bio).

 

Well mentors are a very touchy and very personal thing. You have all kinds of mentors. I think the first bit of advice is I wouldn't look for all things in one person. So it depends upon what you want to be mentored for, and I think there are naturals. When it comes to your research, there are people who have achieved high levels of accomplishment, and you want to try to find someone who interconnects with what your research arena is. I think that you also look for personal mentors, people who have come from similar backgrounds or people who have worked their way up in the program.

Surprisingly, I will tell you that most, not all, but most of my mentors have been men. And I would say that would that be unusual, but I think a lot of women who have been successful in the academy have been mentored by men who were unique in their approach and open to working with women.

Length of mentorship relationships is variable. In some cases you have mentors that you start with that become mentors the rest of your life. I mean you hear that in athletics all the time, professionals going back to their high school or junior high school coach, you know, Michael Jordan and Dean Smith, at the college level, and it has continued throughout his professional life and post-professional life, that Dean is a mentor to Michael Jordan.

But within that journey you're taking different pathways, and every pathway that you take offers an opportunity to learn from someone and to share with someone, and what you want to do is make sure that you're open to creating both the long-term and short-term mentorship relationship.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher in September, 2009.

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