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Mentoring Manual

Maintaining a long term relationship with your mentee

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Looking beyond recruiting for graduate school in your research program

You are an important resource and connection for your students. As you know you will be called upon to write reference letters for other placements, full time jobs, or graduate school. Your role as a student mentor should be comprehensive and rewarding for both you and the students as they continue in their education and professional development.

Maintaining a relationship with a student in a research placement may not only benefit your own research program directly by recruiting the students to your graduate program, but should also benefit you (and them) beyond their graduate years. You are, in effect, building your own professional network. Even if students do not choose to attend graduate school in your research group or at your institution, they may well become an exceptional prospect for a post-doc or faculty member at other institutions. Following a student’s career development can be a good means to both increase their interest in your institution and also provide you and your department with a network and resources to recruit and attract a diversity of talented faculty candidates. In particular, there is evidence that for candidates from under-represented groups this type of personal connection can be a critical means to recruit a diverse faculty and student body. Even if the student does not choose to return to your institution, they can influence friends and acquaintances to attend. This can be extremely effective in building a long term network for your field of research and your institution.

People can usually tell the difference between someone who mentors out of a desire to see them succeed, rather than for furthering their own goals. Be sure and focus your mentoring on the personal success of the student, and it is likely that sometime in the future, this will have a positive impact on your success.

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