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Seek Out Different Types of Mentors

Posted on August 15, 2013

Christina Mangurian (bio) encourages researchers to pursue relationships with mentors in a variety of career stages.

 

I've been blessed with having extremely good mentors, both senior mentors, mid-level mentors, and the ones that I'm learning to value even more are peer mentors.

You know, one of my friends and I talk all the time, and we just provide each other support, whether it's even about family issues or work, but we're there for each other going through becoming young scientists, physician scientists.

I tend to be a little bit more — I'm more extroverted. And so, I will go up to people that I'm interested in talking to and seek out that relationship.

I looked for people, initially, like in 2005, who had my same area of interest. And that was when all these things were kind of happening around needing to do more metabolic monitoring. And so, I was really lucky to find this guy, John Newcomer.

And then I was at the right place at Columbia and had found a couple of people, Francine Cournos and Susan Essock, and then Jeff Lieberman became on faculty, and I met him. And these are all kind of — especially Jeff Lieberman, Susan Essock, and John Newcomer are huge researchers.

And so, getting to meet those people and showing them, doing stuff for them, too, like doing a lot of work and then showing them that you are a responsible mentee, and that they can mentor you. I just was very lucky in finding people. But I did seek them out and sought out the relationships.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2013 Career Development Institute for Psychiatry in Palo Alto, CA.

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