Mentoring is Learned

The University of Wisconsin has a set of professional development courses that run through the Delta Program (itself a component of the  Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning).  I recently completed the Research Mentor Training Seminar and it was a great experience.  The seminar program focuses on various aspects of the mentoring relationship, with exercises and discussions focusing on ethics, diversity, conflict resolution and different mentoring styles.  The program is also run in conjunction (for some of us!) with the IBS-SRP program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The culmination of our seminar series was the writing of a Mentoring Statement.  Writing my statement has been very useful.  It has made me evaluate the aspects of my own mentoring experiences, both good and bad, and made me ask exactly what I value in a research experience.  Interestingly, in all my job applications I have yet to be asked for a mentoring statement, but aspects of this statement are generally applicable.  Teaching is a mentoring opportunity, and we are often asked for teaching statements.  In addition, I see no reason why I couldn’t include aspects of this statement into a cover letter or personal statement.

Regardless, I’m also going to share the statement here, in case people are interested in reading one, or if you have comments about mine (it’s a living document).  If you find mistakes let me know!

The mentoring statement is on a page of its own on my blog, you can link to it here.

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Assistant scientist in the Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Studying paleoecology and the challenges of large data synthesis.

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