Happy New Year and Happy National Mentoring Month! Throughout the month we have seen posts, tweets and stories about the importance of mentoring. This is why The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health started National Mentoring Month back in 2002. National Mentoring Month focuses national attention on the need for mentors to ensure positive effect in young people. 1 in 3 young people will grow up without a mentor. Mentoring makes a difference, especially for underrepresented students who are interested in STEM fields. When students have science mentors it gives them the opportunity to learn about different science career options and build a positive support system.
Since today is the last event of National Mentoring Month (#ThankYourMentor day) and this is my first blog post of 2018 what better time to share how mentoring has made an impact on my science journey. I believe in the impact of mentors and encourage you to mentor someone new. In honor of #ThankYourMentor day I am going to share a few of my mentoring experiences.
As I mentioned in my Mentoring Series, mentoring at all stages is essential for students in the STEM fields, especially underrepresented minority students. Continue reading #ThankYourMentor – National Mentoring Month: My Science Mentoring Story
In honor of Black History Month I was inspired to share my experiences participating in research training, mentoring programs and science organizations. I am grateful for all of my experiences and mentors that helped me become the woman in science that I am today. Coming from an inner city neighborhood and entering a big rural state university was like a dream. My main goal was to get a great education and learn as much as possible to prepare for a STEM career. Everything after that was an added bonus. I joined science organizations and reached out to science peers for support. For the first time I was able to see people in science that looked like me and I was determined to use the many resources that my university offered.
I participated in science programs such as the Women and Science and Engineering Orientation and the Minority Undergraduate Research Experience Program. These programs taught me the importance of leadership and strong mentoring. I gained research experience, scientific knowledge and confidence that I could pursue a science career. This inspired me to use my science background not only to include research but include helping other scientists, especially underrepresented groups.
I encourage everyone to seek mentoring, the earlier the better. If you are looking for science mentors check out research training programs, mentoring programs and science organizations. There is a mentor for everyone. As a Gates Millennium Scholar (GMS) later I went on to become a mentor in the GMS program. Then when I entered graduate school I served on the Graduate Student Association to help first-year graduate students transition. I am passionate about helping the next generations of scientists. Science is challenging and fun, but rewarding. At times in the midst of progress I was faced with moments of negativity. There were people who told me that I did not belong and that I would not achieve my goals. I did not let their negativity stop me. I’m sure most of us have experienced negativity or felt alone in science at one point. Don’t let that stop you. Keep moving forward, pave the way and soon there will be others like you in your career. Continue reading Black History Month Edition: My Experiences Participating in Research Training, Mentoring Programs & Science Organizations
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. How did you find your mentor?
Finding Mentors: Continue reading Finding Mentors + My Top Mentee Tips
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 Different Types of Mentors and My Mentoring Experiences
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 too 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 recommended 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 Self-Mentoring and Understanding What you Want in a Mentor
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.
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. So I checked out her blog and it is indeed a gem of resources.
I enjoyed talking to her about my journey and moving forward in the science communication 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 Spotlight on Science/Mademoiselle Scientist: Science Mentor/Donna Kridelbaugh
Since today is my 2nd Blogiversary I decided it was a perfect time to reflect on my journey as a woman in science and two years as a science blogger.
I always knew I wanted to become a scientist. I always knew I wanted to become a researcher. But the one thing I questioned was; how would I get there? I know we all have been there at one point of our STEM career.
There are many girls and young women that have this same question but some will never become scientists. Why? Because we didn’t give them the resources they needed to pursue their STEM degree and mentor them. If we don’t mentor them who will?
Mentoring is important at all levels. Mentors are people who went through the ups and downs of a STEM career and made it. It’s not impossible without mentors but mentors can make a huge difference. There is a lot I can say about mentors and I will talk about that in a future post and I’m looking forward to sharing my mentoring series with you soon.
My mentors from an early age and the drive I had inside pushed me to become a scientist, researcher, STEM advocate and science writer/blogger. Through all the ups and downs I still wanted to pursue a STEM career. Why? Because I cannot imagine myself in another career.
Further into my STEM journey I discovered my passion for STEM goes beyond research and writing. My passion extends to being an advocate for underrepresented groups, especially minorities and women in STEM. I want to share resources to help the next generations of scientists. As a science communicator I have a platform that will grow and I’m excited to see what’s next for Mademoiselle Scientist! What do you want to see?
Moving forward I want to continue to share resources that will help fellow Mademoiselle Scientists and the next generations of scientists. I will share my journey and help you with your journey.
Continue reading My 2nd Blogiversary: My STEM Journey – To be Continued…