In many ways, doctoral education is an apprenticeship model: Experienced faculty serve as educators and role models in professional ethics, collegiality, research, teaching, scholarship, grants, and leadership, service and outreach.
As the "apprentice," you are learning the many roles and responsibilities of a faculty member in formal and informal settings.
Much of your training will be structured, concrete, and explicit, but you will also learn by observing your mentor, practicing your skills and reflecting on what it means to be a mentor.
Those who aspire to a faculty position assume two mentoring goals:
- Learning "what it takes" to be a good mentee.
- Acquiring the knowledge, skills and ability to be a mentor to others.
While the resources in this section are designed to help you achieve both of these goals, see also
Mentoring is a Transferable Skill
The ability to mentor others is a skill that readily transfers to careers beyond higher education. Think about a time when coached a team to better performance or listened and offer advice. You were applying your mentoring skills. Continue to hone that ability while you are a graduate student! This section will help you get started finding resources.
After graduation: Why you still need mentors
What do highly successful business leaders, athletes, performers, politicians and entrepreneurs have in common? They recognized the experience and expertise of those who have gone before them and proactively asked those individuals to mentor them.
Having a mentoring network is invaluable:
- Want feedback to identify your blindspots and improve your performance? Ask a mentor.
- Need advice on how to become a recognized expert in your discipline? Ask a mentor.
- Facing a challenge and unsure that your next step will be right one? Ask a mentor.
- Failed miserably at something and need help getting back on your feet? Ask a mentor.