How to Get the Mentoring You Need
Mentoring is a two-way street. It is your job to ask for the mentoring you need, at least as much as it is your mentor’s job to provide that mentoring. Open two-way communication is essential to a productive mentoring relationship. Your mentor has other students and postdocs to mentor—as well as other demands on her or his time—and thus will not always be proactive and recognize the type of help and mentorship you need.
The best advice you can get in graduate school is to be sure to find the right advisor who will be an excellent mentor for you. Find this match happens through rotations, but a successful relationship still requires you to take initiative and ask direct questions.
Here are some resources for building a good advisor-advisee relationship:
- Skills Development Calendar
Check these listings for upcoming workshops or seminars that cover mentoring
- VPGE Workshop: Setting Expectations and Communicating Effectively with Your Advisor
Workshop teaching how to communicate and negotiate with your advisors
- VPGE Annual Doctoral Student Degree- and Career-Progress Meeting Worksheet
PDF form that outlines a framework for student-advisor meetings on degree and career progress
- How to Get the Mentoring You Want: A Guide for Graduate Students
Online guide describing how to find a mentor, establish a mentoring relationship, be a responsible mentee, and address problems with your mentor
- Mentoring: A Guide for Students
Online guide to building a mentoring team, understanding common concerns, and changing mentors or advisors
- Mind Matters: Getting Yourself Mentored
Stories and advice about mentoring
- The Care and Maintenance of Your Advisor
Advice on how to interact with your advisor
- Dealing With a Difficult Adviser
Stories and advice about managing advisor trouble
- What to Do When You Feel Neglected by Your P.I.
Advice for keeping your PI’s mentoring going
- Dysfunctional Advisee-Adviser Relationships: Methods for Negotiating Beyond Conflict
How to deal with conflicts and disagreements with your advisor