Mentoring continues for a lifetime! It doesn’t stop after undergrad!


Renetta Tull (blue), with PROMISE graduate students from UM College Park and UMBC at the SREB Institute for Teaching and Mentoring in Tampa, FL, October 2012.

Renetta Tull (blue), with PROMISE graduate students from UM College Park and UMBC at the SREB Institute for Teaching and Mentoring in Tampa, FL, October 2012.

Today is the last day of the semester and I am still meeting with students, going over evaluations, and helping them plan for the next stages of their programs. I love what I do, but today served as a reminder for why I do what I do. I work with graduate students and postdocs. People would probably be surprised to know that grad students and postdocs need mentoring too. It’s true that there should be a level of maturity that comes with the first degree, but that doesn’t mean that we should leave grad students and postdocs to fend for themselves when they are charting new paths. They need guidance and mentoring and encouragement too. Those who have received the degree need to clear some of the unnecessary roadblocks so that people can see how to reach the goal. The Ph.D. was hard, and yes, there are some rites of passage that accompany the journey. However, grad students and postdocs need to know that it’s ok to seek help, that having mentors makes you stronger (not weaker!), and that you should continue to have mentors (plural!) throughout your lifetimes.

 

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