ASEEES Mentoring Program Participant Reflects on Its Benefits

ASEEES is thrilled to continue offering its mentoring program, now in its second year.  While each mentoring relationship is unique in structure, communication tools, topics covered, frequency of meetings and so forth, mentors and mentees mutually benefit.  Below is one mentee's reflections on her experience in the program.  To learn more, to sign up for this year's program, or to review the mentoring tools available, please click here

By Colleen Lucey, PhD candidate, Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Wisconsin, Madison

As a member of ASEEES, I have benefited from the organization’s ongoing outreach to graduate students.  In addition to the excellent (and free) webinars on professional development, research methodologies, and careers in and outside academia, I am particularly lucky to have participated in the ASEEES mentoring program

I was first paired with my mentor in Fall 2014, and since then he has offered invaluable advice and support.  In addition to giving constructive feedback on my writing and application materials, my mentor has taken an active part in my development as a scholar and teacher.  He has inspired me to think more deeply about my analysis and more critically about my research methodologies.  It has certainly been a fruitful exchange over the past few months.

One of the most beneficial aspects of the program is that it allows established professionals to share their knowledge and expertise with the next generation of scholars.  Through frank discussions on time management and career development, my mentor has shed light on how to be a more effective teacher and researcher.  I am thankful that in addition to noting my strengths and potential, he identified areas in need of development and growth.

There are many rites of passage in graduate school and none of them are particularly pleasant. The list includes, but is not limited to: taking your comp exams, writing your dissertation, applying for postdocs, navigating the job market, etc.  We are told to teach, to defend, to publish, to succeed.  Our dissertation advisors do a lot to guide us through these processes, but mentors can help by giving an outside perspective.  Therefore I am extremely grateful to ASEEES for making this program available.  I hope that more members will volunteer and share their skills and experiences with young scholars.