How a Mentor Can Change a Mentee’s Worldview. Let us Learn from the Experience of a Mentor

Mentoring Best Practices
Published on
November 13, 2020

A mentorship program is a two-way relationship where both the mentor and the mentee gain from. With every new mentee, the mentor gains a unique perspective of the world and insight into how people work in a given environment.

A Mentor’s Experience

Let us look at Alexander Leeman's story of mentoring students.

Alexander Leemans, Associate Professor at the Image Sciences Institute (ISI), University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, takes an introductory course in image processing as part of the Master's program at the Graduate School of Life Sciences. He is currently researching various topics such as modeling, processing, visualizing, and analyzing diffusion MRI data for investigating microstructural and architectural tissue organization.

He had volunteered his time to mentor four trainees from the UK, US, Italy, and Switzerland with the belief that students or trainees can navigate through the complicated settings within academia – owing to the industry's long history with help from a trusted and experienced advisor. His experience granted his students to tackle challenges and maneuver safely through their academic careers.

He joined mentorship programs to guide young minds to succeed in their academic careers because he had received help during his student days. He also hoped to learn from his mentees, as they are new to academia and more open to experimenting.

Sharing his experience as a mentor, he expresses he has always thoroughly enjoyed his time with his mentees while helping them address their issues. He says he always felt like 'Mr. Winston Wolf' from Pulp Fiction, the character is said 'to solve problems.' He shares that he has received positive feedback from his mentees regarding his approach.

As a passionate follower of the sciences, he says it is difficult to define a single path towards a successful academic career as the scientific landscape keeps shifting. Strategies that were approved successfully in the past might not be so right now, and it again differs from person to person.

Advising trainees or young students in neuroimaging, he urges them to find the right topic they are genuinely passionate about. It helps if a person considers their jobs to be fun; this way, their hobbies such as reading can also contribute to research studies.

A Note of Mentoring

Oprah Winfrey once said, "A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself. A mentor is someone who allows you to know that no matter how dark the night, in the morning, joy will come. A mentor is someone who allows you to see the higher part of yourself when sometimes it becomes hidden to your own view."

Now that we had a sneak peek into a mentor's experience let us look at why a person needs a mentor and the mentee's expectations.

Why do you need a mentor?

Everyone faces challenges in their careers. These challenges may be solved using a simple google search. However, there are larger than life challenges for which Google just doesn't cut it.

A mentor

  1. Guides you through challenges as they may have experienced it or know how to maneuver through with their extensive knowledge.
  2. They listen to you, ponder, and even push you to enquire within yourself.
  3. Streamline your thought process and help you act on them.
  4. Assist you in defining and achieving your goals, both career and otherwise.

A mentee can improve soft skills and expand their professional network, which will help them expand their career opportunities and professional resources.

A mentor doesn't just help one in their career path; they also help a mentee evolve as a person within their environment. They help you to push boundaries and unlock your potential to become the best version of yourself.

Role of a mentee.

You reap what you sow, so goes the saying. Keeping that in mind, a mentee must put in the effort to do their part of the work. Mentors may recommend contacting certain people, reading a book, attending events and seminars, or even trying a new course of action. They show mentees the path without spoon feeding you.

Mentees must be open to their mentor, letting them know their goals, aspirations, and fears. A mentee must always be ready for constructive criticism – it's the whole reason they chose to have a mentor in the first place.

To conclude, a mentorship is a two-way relationship. They can learn from you as well. Meet your mentors regularly and connect with them. Contact Mentorcloud to learn more.

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