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Everyone should have a mentor when trying to achieve something difficult in life. In science, mentors are unavoidable.
They play an essential role. You need research experience to become a scientist, and mentorship is a central part of that research experience. In fact, in graduate school, your training and research is really built off of your advisor (AKA your mentor) and not courses or classes.
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Therefore, choosing a good mentor is crucial for your success as a scientist. And to be honest, being a scientist myself and having worked with many other scientists, finding a good one can be hard – it’s not the default. It’s also hard to tell if someone is going to be a good mentor before you start working with them.
In this episode of the Fancy Scientist podcast, I offer you six key factors that I’ve found to make a great mentor. I reminisced on all of my past mentors – good and bad – and pulled out the characteristics that they had that helped me grow as a scientist the most. I also talk about what you can do to be a good mentor if you have students or oversee employees.
Even if you aren’t in science, you can still benefit from this episode. Finding a good mentor has been critical to my own health and career as an entrepreneur.
Specifically, I’ll talk about:
- Why having a good mentor is crucial to your success and you can’t do it alone (or at least as fast)
- The six things that are most important in a mentor – even if they are hard to take or you may not like them at first
- My experiences dealing with mentors who were very honest with me
- What you can do to be a good mentor yourself
- and MORE!
Resources and Sources in What Makes a Good Mentor?
Stephanie Schuttler is a wildlife biologist with 17 years of experience in mammal ecology and conservation, education, and outreach. Read her inspirational story, “My Unexpected Journey Into Science” to find out how she went from the daughter of a jeweler to a Ph.D. in wildlife biology. Feel free to contact Stephanie here.