Finding Mentors + My Top Mentee Tips

In my previous post I shared my insight on the different types of mentors and how they have helped me on my journey as a woman in science. No matter what stage you are in your career you can benefit from having a mentor and being a mentor.

Just like many relationships; I have found the best mentors when I was not looking. I was at the right place at the right time. I remember one particular story of finding a mentor. I was at a National Society of Black Engineers Convention and I attended a GEM Consortium Workshop: “Why you should go to graduate school?” I was so impressed, inspired and motivated after the workshop and I realized I found my mentor (the presenter). After the workshop was over I introduced myself and asked him to be my mentor and he said yes. He gave me great advice and the top two takeaway messages I learned were: Remember what you came for and this (insert hardship/challenge you are facing) could be a blessing in disguise.

If you find yourself in a similar situation or find someone who would be a great mentor ask them for advice. People love giving advice. In my experiences, most people said yes. The people who said no were people who were super busy or I learned that they were not a good match for me.

Finding Mentors: Continue reading Finding Mentors + My Top Mentee Tips

Different Types of Mentors and My Mentoring Experiences

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.

Different Types of Mentors: Continue reading Different Types of Mentors and My Mentoring Experiences

Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist: Donna Kridelbaugh

In my last Mademoiselle Spotlight, I wrote about The Thesis Whisperer, and for this post, I am featuring Donna Kridelbaugh as this month’s Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist. Donna has amazing content for early career researchers and professionalskridelbaugh

Photo Credit: Donna Kridelbaugh

Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist: Donna Kridelbaugh:

When I started Mademoiselle Scientist I only had a handful of followers and I did not know about the online science community. I just knew I wanted to share. Donna was one of my first followers who left a comment and were able to set up a time to chat. She shared her STEM journey and her work with her Science Mentor. I talked about my STEM journey and what I’m doing with Mademoiselle Scientist. We have some overlapping interests and it was nice talking to someone who understands the STEM journey. She gave me some great advice and I know it will help my readers out too. Even though I’m new to this platform, I’m excited about what is next. Thank you Donna for helping and inspiring me to continue to write on this platform.

What is Science Mentor?: Continue reading Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist: Donna Kridelbaugh

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

As a graduate student, I unofficially started generating ideas and topics for Mademoiselle Scientist 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. She gave me some great feedback and tips to get started. The advice I remember the most is to just start. There are not many blogs and platforms in the early academic, science, women in STEM, student and early research career category so there is a huge need. Currently, I’m two years in. I have a lot to learn and many things to share on my STEM journey.

Looking back I’m glad I took The Thesis Whisperer’s advice and recommend it to everyone. It is a gem of resources 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 Mademoiselle Spotlight Feature: The Thesis Whisperer/Dr. Inger Mewburn

The Real Talk about the PhD #PioneerChat Reflection:

After participating in The Real Talk about the Ph.D. #PioneerChat hosted by Dr. Monica F. Cox with guest host, Dr. Fatimah Williams Castro I have some reflections. Since I am prospective Ph.D. student I was looking forward to this discussion because I enjoy hearing people talk about their Ph.D. journeys.

To find out more about #PioneerChat, Dr. Monica Cox and Dr. Fatimah Williams Castro click here. Continue reading The Real Talk about the PhD #PioneerChat Reflection:

#DearME STEM College Student Edition: What I Would Tell My Younger Self Part II

Recently, I came across this #DearME video. The #DearME Initiative is a global Initiative started by YouTube to celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) to empower young girls everywhere. After watching a few #DearME videos I was inspired share my #DearME STEM College Student Edition. It is important to reflect on the past to truly understand your journey. If you are a recent graduate or looking to update your myIDP tool write down the advice you would give your younger self. Think back to when you were a freshman in college. Here are the things I would tell my younger self – STEM College Student Edition:

#DearME: My Advice to My Younger Self – STEM College Student Edition:

1. It’s okay if you change your major:

When you go to college you will have an idea about what major or career you want, but things can change. After taking a few courses it is okay to explore different majors. Talk to your academic advisor and upperclassmen to see what other majors are out there. Remember your major doesn’t define you. Whether you want to become an engineer, scientist or work in public health there are many pathways to your STEM career.

2. Don’t be afraid to be assertive:

Ask questions, reach out to potential mentors and network. As a freshman this can be a bit scary, but give it a try. When you come out of your shell and start putting yourself out there people will notice. Plus you never know what opportunities you will find. If you are looking for some tips and tricks the book, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers by Lois Frankel is a good resource.

3. Explore the opportunities that STEM can take you early on:

A STEM degree can take you anywhere. Sometimes thinking about different career paths can be a bit overwhelming as a STEM college student. Take time to talk to people and explore the opportunities at your university’s career center. Whether you want to study abroad, do research or get an internship seek opportunities. Even if you are a freshman you can start.

4. Remember your hard work will pay off eventually:

Being a STEM college student is a challenge, but all the obstacles you will face are worth it. Study-a-thons, hectic schedules and 4-hour chemistry labs may seem like a lot, but you will make it. Space out your course-load so that you can have a fun course in the mix of your STEM courses. The life of a STEM college student is about balance and you will learn it before you graduate. Remember success is great, but you don’t have to break yourself getting there. There will be ups and downs, but you will get through it.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help before it is too late:

If you are having a difficult time in one of your STEM courses ask for help. Find a group of peers in your major. Groups like NSBE, SWE, SHPE and SOT are great places to start. Plus if you join these groups you can make new friends in your major and have a strong support system to help you throughout your college career.

6. Enjoy your college experience:

Even though you may have a busy life as a STEM college student make sure you have fun. Go to social events, join groups or play sports. College is not only about getting your education, but it is also about having fun. When you graduate college you want to look back and say you were able to earn your degree and enjoy your college experience.

7. Don’t let negativity get you down:

Don’t let other people’s negativity get in your way of moving forward in your STEM career. Find a group of people who get you and can help you through your tough times.

To learn more check out part I of my advice to my younger STEM self.

What would you tell your younger self as a STEM College Student? #DearME

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My Top Study Tips

Between preparing for exams, applications and attending conferences this is the time that most people have a booked up calendar. For my students reading I know that midterms are coming up so this post is for you. With the right preparation studying can be a less stressful time. When I was in college we had Study-A-Thons during the weekend before finals week. We had peer tutors, free food and even study snacks. If you don’t have this gather a group of your friends and start your own Study-A-Thon.  

My Top Study Tips: Continue reading My Top Study Tips