Mentorship is essential to the development of anyone in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or medicine, but did you know mentorship is a set of skills that can be learned, practiced, and optimized?
In this 10-part series from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, you’ll hear the personal mentorship stories of leaders in academia, business, and the media, in their own words. Learn how evidence-based mentorship practices can help you develop the skills to engage in the most effective STEMM mentoring relationships possible.
If you are a mentor, a mentee, or have a role in mentorship, this podcast is for you.
Finding a Mentor
In this first episode of Season Two, host Bethany Brookshire takes us through the experiences of undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students. These students share stories of what qualities they sought in a mentor, how they found their mentors, and how each mentor guided and supported them to identify and follow their passions.
Setting Expectations and Boundaries
New mentoring relationships can be intimidating. Mentees may not know what to expect of their mentors, or what the goal of the mentoring relationship is.
For mentoring relationships to be mutually beneficial, both mentees and mentors must establish expectations and boundaries. This is a skill that can take some practice, but helps students reach their full potential in STEMM. In this episode, students share their stories of when they recognized the need for expectations and boundaries in their mentoring relationships, how they established them, and how they responded when their mentor didn’t respect the boundaries in place.
For mentoring relationships to be mutually beneficial, both mentees and mentors must establish expectations and boundaries. This is a skill that can take some practice, but is necessary to help students reach their full potential in STEMM. In this episode, students share their stories of when they recognized the need for expectations and boundaries in their mentoring relationships, how they established them, and how they responded when their mentor didn’t respect the boundaries in place.
The Impact of Effective Mentoring on Family
For many students in STEMM, family life is a top priority. However, some students have found tension when it comes to balancing family life and their STEMM careers, from both faculty and colleagues.
For mentoring relationships to be effective, mentors must acknowledge students as whole people with priorities, responsibilities, and important personal decisions that exist outside of STEMM. In this episode, we hear from students who have juggled raising children and new family milestones as they simultaneously researched and earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees. They share about the challenges of balancing family life and career, the moments they needed to ask for support, and how mentors can support students with families without the student suffering repercussions.
Building Trust & Addressing Power
Some students quickly trust their mentors. Others are hesitant to be vulnerable with them. And some students encounter barriers that disallow them to trust their mentors at all.
Building trust may sometimes be easy, or it may be awkward, depending on the relationship. But there’s a reason why trust is critical to an effective mentoring relationship. In this episode, students share how they were able to build trust with certain mentors, how students navigated relationships where they were hesitant to fully trust their mentors, and how they responded in situations where trust was broken.
Negative Mentoring Experiences一The Impact
Mentees must rely on someone with more experience and power to support them through their STEMM career. Sometimes, conflict happens. And it can have a massive impact on both mentees and mentors.
Negative mentoring experiences in STEMM happen, and they can leave students and professionals feeling stuck and confused. In this episode, students and postdocs share their stories of what circumstances led to negative encounters with their mentors, and how these experiences impacted their careers. Students share the factors that contributed to these negative experiences for them, including unchecked intentions, refusal to get to know students, and uncontrollable circumstances.
Negative Mentoring Experiences一The Response
After a negative mentoring experience, students are often left confused, unhappy, and unsure of how to move forward in their STEMM career. These experiences can be tricky to navigate and respond to.
A negative mentoring relationship should never constitute the end of a student’s STEMM career. Students should feel safe to identify when a mentoring relationship isn’t effective and what they need instead. In this episode, students and postdocs share how they responded to negative experiences, how they were recovered, and what strategies may help prevent these experiences from happening in the first place.
Great stories and production
These are great stories about mentorship experiences from really respected scientists and engineers. The production is fantastic and I LOVE that they are concise and to the point. If you are in STEM and care about mentorship, you really should listen.