Different Types of Mentors and My Mentoring Experiences

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In my last blog post I shared how self-mentoring and understanding what you need in a mentor is the first step when finding a mentor. One of my first mentors was my aunt who is an electrical engineer and she gave me so much insight on my career. In high school I had a mentor that took me under her wing and helped me work on my Gates Millennium Scholarship (GMS) Application. I was so happy when I found out I got the GMS Scholarship, especially after opening a rejection letter from my dream college. These are just two examples of how mentors played a role in my life and I am grateful that they were my mentors. Fast forward years later one of my professors told me that I will need different types of mentors. And he was right!

Different Types of Mentors: Continue reading

Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor

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A little over two years ago I wrote a blog post about journaling for self-mentoring and have been promising to share my favorite mentoring tips on Mademoiselle Scientist. Today I decided that it is time for me to share my mentoring tips and start my May Mentoring Series. I hope you find this information helpful and if you are a recent graduate or know a recent graduate check out my recent graduate series.

Even though the spring semester is coming to an end now is a good time to start thinking about finding a mentor. This is a good time to network and meet people because there will be many social events going on campus and in the community. Don’t be to hard on yourself if you do not find a mentor right away because it takes time. Throughout my journey as a woman in science I had many types of mentors and have learned a lot from my mentoring experiences. Mentoring like any relationship is a partnership and commitment.

Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor:

1. Update myIDP tool:
As you may know I am a huge fan of the myIDP tool. I enjoy staying organized, reevaluating and updating my goals and the myIDP tools helps me do that. When you update the myIDP tool you will be able to see what things you need to talk to a mentor about and what things you can solve by self-mentoring.

2. Use your resources:
There are many resources available and many of them are free. Use the internet as a resource to find what you want in a mentor. Find articles (Levo League), blogs (The Thesis Whisperer, Science Mentor and Tenure, She Wrote) and people (Dr. Amy Freeman, Dr. Monica Cox and Dr. Renetta Tull) that are doing what you would like to do. This is a great way to find out what career pathways you want to explore. If you want a more hands-on approach check out my recommend books on my useful book list and seasonal reading lists.

3. Remember your role:
When you self-mentor you are playing a double role. You are a mentor and you are a mentee. Think about the strong points you want in a mentor and focus on using these points as a way to self-mentor. This will help you be a better mentor to others and help you find the right mentor when the time is right. Continue reading

Resources for Scientists using MOOCs: Coursera vs Edx.org

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If you have been subscribed to my blog you know that I enjoy learning. Whenever I find a resource I have to share it. My two favorite resources for online learning are Coursera.org and Edx.org. These two Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) sites are perfect if you want to learn something new now.

After a few years of using both of these MOOC sites: Coursera.org and Edx.org I have a good feel about what they have to offer. Both sites offer tons of courses in various subjects taught by professors from universities around the world. Whether you want to earn a certificate, learn a new subject area, enhance your knowledge for your career or enroll in a multiple-course specialization unit Coursera.org and Edx.org are perfect for you.

Both MOOC sites have apps available for smartphones and tablets which makes learning on-the-go easy. I prefer to use my computer to take my courses and I like use Microsoft OneNote to take notes. I like using OneNote because it helps me keep the information organized and I like that it gives me that notebook feel even though I use it on the computer.

After using both sites I can honestly say you can’t go wrong with Coursera.org or Edx.org. Both will give you a great digital learning experience to help you in your career. Whether you are an undergraduate, graduate, professional or thinking about learning something new I’m sure you will find a course that fits your needs. I suggest creating an account for both to keep track of what courses are available. There are so many courses and you don’t want to miss out.  Continue reading

My Winter Reading List III:

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Even though winter is over the weather is all over the place. Sometimes snow, sometimes rain and other times sunshine. Since I took a blogging hiatus I have a few posts that I would like to share with you and the first post is my winter reading list.

Looking back I’m thankful for this winter because it was quite relaxing. I was forced to stay inside due to the huge snowstorm, named Jonas and relax for a bit. Plus I had time to update myIDP tool, try some new recipes, hang out with my family and read some good books.

If you have any suggestions for my upcoming seasonal reading lists share your recommendations in the comments section.

My Winter Reading List III: Continue reading

Superwoman: Achieving Work-Life Balance

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First I want to say I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Easter and Happy Women’s History Month! I can’t believe this is my first blog post of 2016 because I took a blogging hiatus. It feels good to get back into the swing of blogging. For as long as I can remember I have been a bit of a workaholic. Last year was a busy year for me. I had work, blogging, projects, coursework, a personal life and many things going on. I had to take a step back and realize I need to reevaluate some things in my life to achieve a better work-life balance.

Even though I’m a young and healthy woman I have to remember I cannot do it all. I’m all for being a superwoman, but this superwoman needs a break. I’ve been reading a few blog posts here and there; talking to other women about this issue and realized that a superwoman needs to know her limits. In addition, a superwoman has to start saying “no”. When you say “no” that does not mean that you are being “rude”. A superwoman asserts herself and is confident. If you want to learn more about how you can be the best superwoman you can be in the workplace check out the book, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel.

Besides this Lois P. Frankel’s book I recommend reading Dr. Amy Freeman’s book about work-life balance, Stress Less: 10 Balancing Insights on Work and Life. I did a Mademoiselle Spotlight on her last year and talked about how she is an inspiration to me as an African-American Woman in Science. She is a wonderful mentor and in her book I learned so many things about how I can achieve work-life balance. Continue reading

10 Gift Ideas for Scientists II:

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It’s that time of year when you need to figure out what to get the scientist in your life. What do you give the scientist or engineer that seems to have it all? Will she like it? Will it be cool enough? I’ve got you covered. Here are some great gift ideas that will make any scientist smile.

10 Gift Ideas for Scientists II:

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1. Books: Stress Less: 10 Balancing Insights on Work and Life by Amy Freeman, PhD and The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome & How to Thrive in Spite of it by Valerie Young. I read these books recently and I would highly recommend them to any women who wants to be successful in her career or life in general. Books are always a great gift and I always look forward to adding a good book to my collection.

2. Erin Condren Life Planner: If the scientist in your life has a busy schedule you should give her a planner. I’ve been hearing a lot about the Erin Condren Planner and I can see why. It is very pretty and has a lot of space which is perfect for the scientist in your life that likes to stay organized. Plus you can customize the planner.

3. Elemental, My Dear Spice Rack Set from ModCloth: This is such a fun, but quirky science-themed gift for the scientist in your life that loves to cook. Plus it will add a bit of science charm to their kitchen.

4. S’well Bottle: No matter what a drinking bottle that will keep your drinks cold or hot will never go out of style. I like the S’well rose gold bottle from the metallic collection. This bottle will keep your morning cup of tea hot for hours. I’m sure your PI would like this gift. If you want you can pair this gift with a set of gourmet tea or coffee.

5. Pi Tie Bar: If you know a guy that is crazy about numbers give him this stylish Pi Tie bar to enhance his style. I know a few math geeks and engineers that would appreciate this gift. Plus it’s a nice statement piece that I know he would like because it’s very unique. If you want to go the extra mile pair this gift with a stylish tie. Continue reading

Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist: Science Mentor/Donna Kridelbaugh

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In my last Mademoiselle Spotlight I talked about The Thesis Whisperer and for this post I wanted to feature Donna Kridelbaugh/Science Mentor as this month’s Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist. Donna has amazing content for early career researchers and professionals. I’m happy to share information about Science Mentor because I enjoy finding resources for STEM-ers.

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Photo Credit: ScienceMentor

Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist: Donna Kridelbaugh:

When I started blogging I only had a handful of followers and I did not know about the science blogging community. I just knew that I wanted to share my journey with others. After a few months of blogging I received an email from Science Mentor and she told me how she liked my blog. This was exciting because I just started blogging. She told me she had a blog with resources for early career scientists and I knew I had to check it out. I’m glad I did!

I enjoyed talking to her about my journey and moving forward in the science writing/blogging community. We have some overlapping interests and it’s good to talk to someone who understands the science journey. She gave me some great advice and I know it will help my readers out too. Even though I’m new to blogging  and shy I’m going to work on putting myself out there because I want to help other STEM-ers. Thank you Donna for helping me and inspiring me to continue to share my journey through blogging.

Who is Science Mentor?: Continue reading

My Fall Reading List II

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This fall I wanted to share books that can appeal to a variety of readers. I hope you find something you like. If you have any book recommendations let me know in the comments section. I will be happy to add your recommendations to my winter reading list.

My Fall Reading List II: Continue reading

Resources for Scientists: Online Learning Using Edx.org

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Last year I talked about using Coursea.org  as an Online Learning tool. I’m an advocate for learning more and taking advantage of resources, especially when they are free. After taking several Coursera.org courses I decided to explore other MOOC sites and I came across Edx.org.

Edx.org has a different look than Coursera.org and from my first glance at the site I can tell that Edx.org wants the online learning experience to be user-friendly. Before you take a course on Edx.org there is a free self-paced DemoX course that will help you get familiar with how Edx.org works. Continue reading

Mademoiselle Spotlight Feature: The Thesis Whisperer/Dr. Inger Mewburn

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Toward the end of my undergraduate career I considered starting a blog, but I wasn’t sure. Then when I started graduate school I knew for sure I wanted to start blogging. As a graduate student I unofficially started blogging (generating ideas and topics) and discovered my first higher education blog, The Thesis Whisperer.

Dr Inger Mewburn The Thesis Whisperer

Photo Credit: TheThesisWhisperer 

Mademoiselle Spotlight: The Thesis Whisperer/Dr. Inger Mewburn:

Before officially starting Mademoiselle Scientist I reached out to The Thesis Whisperer and she emailed me back. She gave me some great feedback and tips to get started with my blog. The advice I remember the most is to just start blogging. There are not many blogs in the academic, science, women in STEM, and early research career category so there is a huge need. So I started blogging and here I am two years into blogging. I have a lot to learn and many things to share in my journey as a woman in science.

Looking back I’m glad I took The Thesis Whisperer’s advice because I really enjoy reading her blog. I highly recommend it! It’s a great resource for graduate students and professionals. I can’t believe I didn’t know about The Thesis Whisperer earlier in my academic career. It would have been handy. On the bright side I’m glad I found it!

What is The Thesis Whisperer? Continue reading

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