My daughter, Natasha is a Clarendon fellow doing her MSc in Immunology at Oxford University.
She is very interested in learning more about what we can do to improve our environment. When we fall sick, our immune system helps us to recover. How can we apply the lessons we learn from the immune system when trying to heal a world which has become sick ?
She needs to find a mentor to help her progress further, which is why I did some homework on how mentors can help students.
I found the book, The New Mentors and Proteges by Linda Phillips-Jones very interesting.
Linda makes some great points.
Everyone knows that finding a mentor can be very helpful. As Linda
points out, a mentor helps by:
1. Advising on goals
2. Providing encouragement
3. Teaching new skills and knowledge
4. Offering a role-model to emulate
5. Opening doors by providing increased exposure and visibility
6. Creating a bridge to maturity
Why do mentors do this ? What do they get out of it ? How does being a mentor help the mentor ?
1. They get more work done with your help
2. They are awarded for spotting new talent
3. They are achieving vicariously through you
4. They are investing in your future
5. They are repaying past debts
Finally, Linda offers a useful strategy for a acquiring mentors .
1. Identify what you need - not who .
2. Evaluate yourself as a prospective mentee .
3. Identify some mentor candidates.
4. Prepare for obstacles.
5. Approach your possible mentors
This is a very wise book, and us worth reading, for both mentees and mentors.
Senior doctors like me have many opportunities to be mentors - and this is an obligation and privilege we should be honoured to fulfill !