One of the challenges to preparing students for a professional career is to provide mentoring experiences that support the success of all graduate students. It is especially important that oceanographic institutions mentor their graduate students who seek or end up in careers outside of academia.
Mentoring will also be part of the 2012 Ocean Sciences Educators Retreat (OSER). For more information on OSER, please visit: http://oceanleadership.org/education/ocean-sciences-educators-retreat/
For more information on mentoring, see below:
This poster was presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting 2012 and mentions the importance of mentoring the graduate student population.
MPOWIR is a community based effort funded by the National Science Foundation that provides mentoring experiences to women physical oceanographers in the late stages of graduate school through their early careers.
According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, mentoring has been identified as an important influence in professional development in public and private sectors of work. They see the benefits of mentoring to be: increased employee performance, retention, commitment to the organization, and knowledge sharing. While mentoring is sometimes a component in formalized developmental programs, it can also be an information relationship, occurring over time and at any time in one’s career. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has created a Best Practices: Mentoring document to provide more guidance.
A mentor provides wisdom, knowledge, support, assistance and respect throughout and often beyond your graduate career. The University of Washington has created a guide to help graduate students find their mentor in order to better understand how career ambitions fit into graduate education and career choices. The guide includes topics such as: what a good mentor does, what influences graduate student mentoring needs, and finding good mentors.
Effective mentoring begins with the faculty. The University of Washington has created a guide to help faculty members enhance their knowledge of the mentoring process and notes that mentoring is the key to success for all those involved in graduate education. The guide is a culmination of many respected sources, handbooks, individual campus experiences, findings from national studies and initiatives. The guide includes such topics as: what a mentor does, how to address student needs, and advice to give to students.
The University of Michigan has also created a guide for mentoring graduate students, which can be found here.
The University of Washington also offers Mentor Memos which is a newsletter on various mentoring topics for graduate students in all disciplines.