More on this topic from our Youth Advisory Board members:
Top Three Takeaways on Mentorships
By Jay Wang
Different relationships will have different values. And sometimes the value of a relationship is not necessarily that it makes you feel warm and fuzzy, it’s that you’ve learned something that’s really going to help you in your life.
A reoccurring perspective that I took for this episode was to engage and find a mentor that “makes you feel warm and fuzzy” because that’s the type of environment that I have flourished in. However, Dr. Kia Darling-Hammond and Danyelle really helped to emphasize that all relationships will provide some sort of worth. There’s one particular instance in my undergraduate career where I was taking a course with a professor that I didn’t vibe with and had clashing ideologies. However, retrospectively, I am appreciative of the toolsets that they imparted on me -no matter how frustrating and flustered I may have been through the semester.
It’s important to show up when the opportunities present themselves.
This was such a gentle reminder to be respectful and mindful of not only your time, but your potential mentor’s. As Dr. Kia Darling-Hammond mentioned in our discussion, this potential mentor has opened up their schedule to have a meeting with you. So, it is important to show up engaged with conversation topics. These ideas can stem from your initial research into your mentor’s CV (curriculum vitae), research lab, and/or published papers.
It’s really important to be proactive…this is your life, your education, your career. You are the primary actor, you get this one run, so you want to make it worthwhile.
Now, I don’t know about some of our listeners, but I have and still do deal with imposter syndrome. Combine that with some anxiety, and this creates a synergistic self-doubt cycle. I often faced many situations where there was fear in reaching out and networking due to concerns of feeling like a bother or feeling less then. But, as discussed, this can shut the door on many potential opportunities. To combat this, I have found that affirmations and gentle reminders from myself and friends really help to boost morale!