By Olivia Gacka, PhD Student
As graduate students, we all have a variety of diverse opportunities to act as mentors, but not as much time to stop and think about how to go about it effectively. The summer is an excellent time to evaluate ourselves as mentors, especially on some of the days we’ve had recently, where it feels too hot to do just about anything beyond moving from one side of your apartment to the other. Here are some resources you can take advantage of while standing directly in front of your nearest fan or A/C unit:
- CIMER: The UW-Madison Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research aims to “improve the research mentoring relationships for mentees and mentors at all career stages”. You can make a free CIMER account through your wisc.edu email address to access a vast array of resources, research, and training materials specific to your discipline.
- ICTR: The UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, while specifically aimed at biomedical, translational, and clinical disciplines, has an extensive array of resources around mentorship that could be useful to graduate students across fields, including ideas to consider for each phase of the mentor/mentee journey.
- NCFDD: Check out the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity’s upcoming online event “Mentorship: Efficient and Effective Practices”. As a UW-Madison graduate student, you are eligible for a free NCFDD membership.
- Articles: There are a wide variety of “how to” articles out there with tips and tricks for successful mentorship. As someone who is still relatively new to being a mentor and who can get pretty overwhelmed by the 100-item lists of things I should apparently be doing, I have frequently turned to this Forbes listicle, “Mentoring For The First Time? 14 Tips To Start Off On The Right Foot”, for a reminder of the key pillars.
Tips for Grads is a professional and academic advice column written by graduate students for graduate students at UW–Madison. It is published in the student newsletter, GradConnections Weekly.