Working With Students

Faculty members with considerable mentoring experience generally agree that a deliberate approach to mentoring is the most likely way to achieve success.

Tips for being a good mentor: 

Be Committed: Mentoring is a long term commitment to a student. Please make sure you have the time and motivation to stay committed to the mentoring relationship. Be available to your student as needed.

Be Proactive: Take initiative in the relationship. Students can be shy and intimidated by the idea of reaching out to faculty mentors. Throughout the project routinely check to make sure the student understands responsibilities and tasks.

Establish Clear Expectations : Make sure you are on the same page regarding work schedules, responsibilities and communications.

Make Project Steps Explicit: What does your student need to know in order to be an effective member of the team?  Don't assume the student has the necessary knowledge.

Give Advice: Bounce ideas back and forth with your mentee. Make sure you are only providing your thoughts and feedback instead of directly telling your mentee what to do. This helps them hone their judgement and decision making abilities.

Teach Students Resilience: Setbacks in research are common.  Help students learn to deal with the unexpected and their own mistakes while you foster increasing independence.

Find Shared Experiences: Relationships are stronger when you share common ground.  You can also find a chance to meet with your mentee and create new shared experiences!

Respect your Mentee.