By Shandra Bellinger
As you read in Ruslan’s post “Mentors-the unsung heroes,” the benefits of having a mentor are limitless. They’re able to exposure you to new opportunities, help you network, hold you accountable, support you and be your cheerleader, and act as your advisor. According to Anthony Tjan, there are five types of mentors:
- The master of craft- someone who is in the role you inspire to be in
- The champion of your cause- someone who acts as your advocate and “talks you up to others” and supports career specific goals
- The copilot- your work buddy and peer
- The anchor- a friend or family member who has your overall best interest in mind
- The reverse mentor- your mentee, who can help you evaluate your leadership style and stay relevant with the current times.
As you can see, you can have a mentor for multiple aspects of your life. Once you’ve found someone willing to be your mentor, it is important to cultivate a good relationship. The following are tips to help you have and maintain a good relationship with your mentor:
- Remember that the relationship is a two-way street, so also be of benefit to your mentor in any way you can.
- Be actively engaged in the relationship and get to know your mentor.
- Aim to personally continue to improve within your field.
- Understand your role as a mentee, ask good questions and always be prepared.
- Identify your goals and how you see your mentor helping you to fulfill them. Then have this discussion with your mentor. Communication is key!
- Express gratitude
I hope these tips urge you to pursue seeking out a mentor(s) of your own if you do not already have one, and help you maintain a great relationship!
About the author -- Shandra Bellinger is a recent graduate of the M.S. in Biomedical Sciences at Larkin University College of Biomedical Sciences. Shandra is also an Research Assistant-Intern in the RIPL_Effect Research Team under the mentorship of principal investigator, Dr. Félix E. Rivera-Mariani. Shandra, original from Maryland, has among her main goals to be a physician in the near future. Shandra is also a "master" at editing documents! Learn more about Shandra here.