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Tips on Finding and Being a 
Mentor in Graduate School 
Katharine B. Gamble 
PhD Candidate, ASE, UT-Austin 
Katharine.brum...
SWE Graduate Community 
 Graduate student network 
throughout the world 
 Incorporating graduate student 
interests into...
Katharine Gamble Katherine Avery 
 Mentor: 
◦ Graduates Linked with 
Undergraduates in 
Engineering (GLUE) 
◦ Texas Space...
Why do you think it’s important to 
have a mentor?
The Importance of Mentoring
The Importance of Mentoring
The Importance of Mentoring 
 "Mentoring can facilitate positive socialization among 
women to STEM fields by encouraging...
The Importance of Mentoring 
 Women with sponsors are more likely to 
ask for stretch assignments and pay raises 
The Spo...
What does a mentor do for you?
Mentors should… 
• Help you solidify your career goals 
• Guide you through coursework options 
• Advocate for you 
• Enco...
What types of mentor-mentee 
relationships are there?
Types of Mentor 
Relationships 
Faculty-Student 
Faculty-Faculty 
Student-Student
Student to Student Mentoring 
 Mentoring relationships can develop 
through 
◦ Formal peer advising programs 
◦ Personal ...
Student to Student Mentoring 
 How to 
◦ Look for existing programs through your department or 
college and use the resou...
Student to Student Mentoring 
 Benefits 
◦ Helps new students adapt to the new learning environment 
more quickly 
◦ Prov...
Faculty to Student Mentoring 
 Mentoring relationships can develop 
through 
◦ Department or college mixers 
◦ Classes, p...
Faculty to Student Mentoring 
 How to 
◦ Remember: Everyone is busy! 
◦ Consider the difference between networking and ma...
Faculty to Student Mentoring 
 Benefits 
◦ Provides undergraduate and graduate students with strong 
faculty role models ...
Faculty to Faculty Mentoring 
 Mentoring relationships can develop 
through 
◦ Formal and informal programs 
◦ Connection...
Faculty to Faculty Mentoring 
 How to 
◦ Use existing programs in your 
department/college/university 
◦ Use the resource...
Faculty to Faculty Mentoring 
 Benefits 
◦ Young faculty receive direction for their activities that 
benefit their caree...
Ok, so how do you go about 
finding a mentor?
Strategies for Finding a Mentor 
 Take a critical self-appraisal 
◦ What are my academic and professional objectives? 
◦ ...
A few things to remember… 
 No one mentoring system meets all needs 
 No one mentor meets all needs 
 Mentoring is easi...
Finding a Mentor 
To help you find a mentor, or at least start the search, check out the following 
resources: 
 http://m...
Have you participated in any 
formal/informal mentor 
programs? 
What did you think of these 
programs?
Structured vs. 
Unstructured Programs 
 Structured programs take 
the pressure off junior 
women from having to ask 
the ...
Contact Us! 
Katharine B. Gamble 
PhD Candidate, ASE, UT-Austin 
Katharine.brumbaugh.gamble@gmail.com 
Katherine R. Avery ...
References 
 Overview: Mentoring and Women in Engineering by Catherine Amelink, SWE-AWE- 
CASEE ARP Resources (2009) 
 S...
Elevator Pitch Practicing!
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Tips on Finding and Being a Mentor in Graduate School

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Tips on Finding and Being a Mentor in Graduate School

  1. 1. Tips on Finding and Being a Mentor in Graduate School Katharine B. Gamble PhD Candidate, ASE, UT-Austin Katharine.brumbaugh.gamble@gmail.com Katherine R. Avery PhD Candidate, ME, Michigan katlee@umich.edu
  2. 2. SWE Graduate Community  Graduate student network throughout the world  Incorporating graduate student interests into SWE by: ◦ Planning national and regional conference sessions ◦ Planning webinars ◦ Representing graduate student interests at the national and regional level  The Community is supported by the following positions (read more on the blog!): ◦ Graduate Member Coordinator (GMC, GMC-elect) ◦ Graduate Programming Coordinator (GPC, GPC-elect) ◦ Regional Conference Coordinator (RCC) ◦ Webinars Coordinator  Resources: ◦ Blog: http://swegrad.wordpress.com/ ◦ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/s wegrad/ ◦ Email list serve – instructions on how to join are found on the Blog
  3. 3. Katharine Gamble Katherine Avery  Mentor: ◦ Graduates Linked with Undergraduates in Engineering (GLUE) ◦ Texas Spacecraft Lab ◦ Grad SWE (at UT-Austin, regional, and national)  Mentee: ◦ Internships ◦ Informal relationship with professors, advisors, etc. ◦ Conference contacts  Mentor: ◦ Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) ◦ Michigan Mentorship Program ◦ Grad/Undergrad programs through CoE at U of M ◦ GradSWE (at UofM, regional and national)  Mentee: ◦ Informal relationships with advisors (undergrad and grad) Mentoring Experience
  4. 4. Why do you think it’s important to have a mentor?
  5. 5. The Importance of Mentoring
  6. 6. The Importance of Mentoring
  7. 7. The Importance of Mentoring  "Mentoring can facilitate positive socialization among women to STEM fields by encouraging interaction with successful individuals and by providing [career] support... Coupled with other programmatic initiatives, mentoring relationships are a key element in encouraging retention and success of women in STEM fields." Overview: Mentoring and Women in Engineering by Catherine Amelink, SWE-AWE- CASEE ARP Resources (2009)  "It was hard without having female mentors in the field. It would have helped to have someone to talk with about issues. Male mentors are helpful with career advice ...but it does not feel like they truly understand the burdens that women face...in such a male-dominated field as engineering.” Stemming the Tide: Why Women Leave Engineering by Nadya Fouad and Romila Singh, National Science Foundation (2011)
  8. 8. The Importance of Mentoring  Women with sponsors are more likely to ask for stretch assignments and pay raises The Sponsor Effect: Breaking Through the Last Glass Ceiling by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Kerrie Peraino, Laura Sherbin and Karen Sumberg , Harvard Business Review (2011)  Women who are mentored and sponsored report having more career success, greater job satisfaction and more career commitment Tammy D Allen et al., Career Benefits Associated with Mentoring for Protégés: A Meta- Analysis, Journal of Applied Psychology 89, 1 (2004): 127-136
  9. 9. What does a mentor do for you?
  10. 10. Mentors should… • Help you solidify your career goals • Guide you through coursework options • Advocate for you • Encourage you to find internships, research opportunities • Assist you with “soft skills” (time management, adjusting to university, finding your place, etc.) • Connect you with internships, lab openings, etc. Undergrads • Help you find your “fit” • Assist you in the transition to graduate school • Support you through life changes • Encourage you to integrate work and life • Help you solidify your career goals • Share knowledge about their experiences • Provide you with general knowledge about your career path • Help you find funding • Connect you with professionals in your field Grads • Support you through life changes • Provide constructive and support feedback • Demystify departmental, college and university culture • Advocate for you • Provide information about promotion and tenure processes • Help foster important connections and visibility • Assist with grant writing, etc. Faculty
  11. 11. What types of mentor-mentee relationships are there?
  12. 12. Types of Mentor Relationships Faculty-Student Faculty-Faculty Student-Student
  13. 13. Student to Student Mentoring  Mentoring relationships can develop through ◦ Formal peer advising programs ◦ Personal connections ◦ Classes, homework groups, teaching assistantships  The primary goal is to ◦ Help students navigate college life and courses ◦ Enable students to achieve their educational goals ◦ Share common experiences between students to improve social wellness and mental health
  14. 14. Student to Student Mentoring  How to ◦ Look for existing programs through your department or college and use the resources of your department/college/school (email lists and facilities) ◦ Connect students with similar and dissimilar experiences (both older and younger) ◦ Strive to develop a one-on-one relationship through informal communication and personal meetings ◦ Talk about difficulties faced in making decisions, tackling certain situations, etc. ◦ Focus on achieving educational goals
  15. 15. Student to Student Mentoring  Benefits ◦ Helps new students adapt to the new learning environment more quickly ◦ Provides a good combination of support and encouragement in an informal setting ◦ Guides students to expand their learning and participation in education and developmental opportunities ◦ Goes well with faculty advising ◦ Often happens without knowing it’s going on!
  16. 16. Faculty to Student Mentoring  Mentoring relationships can develop through ◦ Department or college mixers ◦ Classes, projects and labs ◦ Formal mentoring programs  The primary goal is to ◦ Create a focused academic community for women ◦ Improve retention in engineering programs ◦ Give engineering women additional departmental resources beyond their professors and advisers
  17. 17. Faculty to Student Mentoring  How to ◦ Remember: Everyone is busy! ◦ Consider the difference between networking and match making ◦ Take advantage of your department/university/school and its resources (scheduling tools, facilities, email lists, funds) ◦ Assess your goal to determine your structure ◦ Have a purpose (outreach, recruitment, games and fitness, community service) ◦ Have a mutual goal for faculty and students ◦ Reshape your approach as your community grows and matures
  18. 18. Faculty to Student Mentoring  Benefits ◦ Provides undergraduate and graduate students with strong faculty role models ◦ Eases academic transitions ◦ Enables effective academic advising ◦ Facilitates discussion of aligning academic and professional career goals ◦ Mentoring for graduate students is “near-peer”
  19. 19. Faculty to Faculty Mentoring  Mentoring relationships can develop through ◦ Formal and informal programs ◦ Connections outside the department or university  The primary goal is to ◦ Help female faculty achieve promotion and tenure ◦ Retain female engineering faculty ◦ Improve teaching and enhance career satisfaction
  20. 20. Faculty to Faculty Mentoring  How to ◦ Use existing programs in your department/college/university ◦ Use the resources of your department or college to establish connections with faculty outside your department (funds for travel, etc.) ◦ Time is precious: use your mentor only for questions you cannot find the answer to yourself ◦ Seek multiple mentors to address different needs ◦ Be proactive to interact with your mentor
  21. 21. Faculty to Faculty Mentoring  Benefits ◦ Young faculty receive direction for their activities that benefit their careers while senior faculty receive enhanced career satisfaction ◦ Collaborative efforts are improved within departments and to other units internal and external to the university ◦ Mentor and protégé receive positive benefits from engaging in mentoring activities during faculty reviews
  22. 22. Ok, so how do you go about finding a mentor?
  23. 23. Strategies for Finding a Mentor  Take a critical self-appraisal ◦ What are my academic and professional objectives? ◦ What type of training do I desire? ◦ What are my strengths? What skills do I need to develop? ◦ What engages me?  Identify potential mentors ◦ Formal and informal programs ◦ Social activities and mixers  Avoid limiting your options ◦ Don’t expect one mentor to meet all your needs. Be creative!
  24. 24. A few things to remember…  No one mentoring system meets all needs  No one mentor meets all needs  Mentoring is easiest in a culture of trust and collaboration  Remember time is valuable  Build mentoring relationships through personal connections and shared experiences  Many resources exist for mentoring…find them and use them!
  25. 25. Finding a Mentor To help you find a mentor, or at least start the search, check out the following resources:  http://mentornet.net/ -- You can have an industry, gov't or academic mentor. These are for undergrads, grad students (MS or PhD), post docs and early faculty (not yet tenured).  http://www.awis.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=37 -- This is a mentoring handbook written by the Association of Women in Science (AWIS). AWIS also offers mentoring programs usually at the local chapter level that are geared toward PhD level women grad students in STEM. They also have had some great webinars about how to find mentors and what type of mentors you need.  http://www.fabfems.org/ -- This website is part of the Million Women Mentors effort out of the White House to engage mentors in STEM. This site also has mentoring resources at http://www.fabfems.org/resources. For all who sign up, they can tell their STEM story and indicate how they want to be a mentor (just listed online so people can read about them, open to contacts via email if kids have questions, etc.). You can also find mentors and role models here!  https://www.millionwomenmentors.org/#home  If people want to be a role model or mentor, Techbridge also has great resources at http://techbridgegirls.org/index.php?id=29.  The ADVANCE program also has a compilation of mentoring resources that may be useful now or as graduates head into faculty positions: http://www.portal.advance.vt.edu/index.php/tags/Mentoring.
  26. 26. Have you participated in any formal/informal mentor programs? What did you think of these programs?
  27. 27. Structured vs. Unstructured Programs  Structured programs take the pressure off junior women from having to ask the difficult “are you my mentor?” question Why Men Still Get More Promotions than Women by Herminia Ibarra, Nancy M. Carter, and Christine Silva, Harvard Business Review (2010)  Some faculty may feel more secure asking for help when a senior faculty member has invited them to ask Report of the Faculty Mentoring Study, The Provost's Advisory Committee on Mentoring and Community Building, University of Michigan (2012) • Nobody…can advance without good informal networks because of the fact that if people don’t like you, there are a hundred thousand ways they can screw you. Separate and Unequal: The Nature of Women’s and Men’s Career-Building Relationships by Susan Schor, Business Hornizons (1997) • Informal mentoring…consists of two people who are compatible and get together to share ideas and learn from each other. The Power of Informal Mentoring by Tammy Patterson and Mark Korf, The Bencher (2013)
  28. 28. Contact Us! Katharine B. Gamble PhD Candidate, ASE, UT-Austin Katharine.brumbaugh.gamble@gmail.com Katherine R. Avery PhD Candidate, ME, Michigan katlee@umich.edu
  29. 29. References  Overview: Mentoring and Women in Engineering by Catherine Amelink, SWE-AWE- CASEE ARP Resources (2009)  Stemming the Tide: Why Women Leave Engineering by Nadya Fouad and Romila Singh, National Science Foundation (2011)  The Sponsor Effect: Breaking Through the Last Glass Ceiling by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Kerrie Peraino, Laura Sherbin and Karen Sumberg , Harvard Business Review (2011)  Tammy D Allen et al., Career Benefits Associated with Mentoring for Protégés: A Meta-Analysis, Journal of Applied Psychology 89, 1 (2004): 127-136  Why Men Still Get More Promotions than Women by Herminia Ibarra, Nancy M. Carter, and Christine Silva, Harvard Business Review (2010)  Report of the Faculty Mentoring Study, The Provost's Advisory Committee on Mentoring and Community Building, University of Michigan (2012)  Separate and Unequal: The Nature of Women’s and Men’s Career-Building Relationships by Susan Schor, Business Hornizons (1997)  The Power of Informal Mentoring by Tammy Patterson and Mark Korf, The Bencher (2013)
  30. 30. Elevator Pitch Practicing!

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