What is mentoring?
A mentor is something different than an advisor. While an adviser tends to provide us with support that is limited to our academic progress, a mentor concerns themselves with our individual growth and well-being. A mentor works to advance our academic, professional, and personal goals—they listen, offer support, share expertise, and take an interest in our success.
Given that mentoring relationships are meant to be responsive to our own goals and circumstances, mentoring relationships need to be open and flexible. The role of a mentor should change as our goals and circumstances change. This raises a question: what can we do to find and maintain strong mentoring relationships? If the value of a mentoring relationship lies in the fact that it is open and flexible, what strategies can we use to get the mentoring we need? And what strategies can mentors use to ensure that they are giving their mentees the support that they need?
GSAS Futures is committed to providing the GSAS community with new resources and strategic initiatives in the direction of mentoring. This includes faculty mentoring, alumni mentoring, and peer-to-peer mentoring. Stay up-to-date with new GSAS mentoring resources and initiatives by checking this site.
Faculty mentors are essential for success in a graduate program. They provide us with targeted support toward our academic and professional goals, and they provide us with a concrete example of what professionalism looks like in the academic community.
- Mentoring Strategy Guide for Graduate Students
- Futures Panel: Advocating for Yourself
No one is more equipped to provide us with support toward our academic and professional goals than an alumni mentor. Alumni have experience managing the demands of graduate study, as well as experience with the applications of a graduate degree in a variety of different professional settings.
- GSAS Mentoring Network (People Grove)
- The purpose of the GSAS Mentoring Network is to connect graduate students with GSAS alumni from around the world, and to provide new opportunities for graduate students to receive mentoring support from alumni that have been in their position before.
- To create an account on the Fordham Mentorship Network and join the GSAS Mentoring Network, visit the Fordham Mentorship Network Group
- Guide to the GSAS Mentoring Network
When we reflect on the values of mentoring—support, communication, trust, transparency, etc.—we begin to see that a great deal of the mentoring support that graduate students receive on a regular basis comes from one another. Graduate students work to advance one another’s academic, professional, and personal goals, and for this reason peer-to-peer mentoring deserves serious consideration and attention.
- Topics covered in peer-to-peer mentoring group sessions last year (2020-2021):
- Dissertation Research
- Faculty Mentoring
- Professional Development and Networking