Mentors are critical throughout development whether it involves school, life in general, faith, careers, and everything in between. Mentors can give advice, provide encouragement, keep you accountable, offer insight from experiences, and help you to expand your network. But how do you find a mentor?
The first step is to ask yourself certain questions. For example, what am I interested in? Next, a good place to start looking for a mentor is using the network you already have. You’re likely to know someone as an advisor such as the student affairs dean, a faculty member, or an upperclassman who would be happy to provide you with suggestions for people to contact or connect with. Another great way of finding a mentor is to get involved. Interested in anesthesia like myself? Join the Anesthesia Interest Group at your school, and talk to the officers about getting you in touch with the faculty in that department.
Now for the hook, line, and sinker. Once you have a few potential mentors in mind, reach out to them. If you know someone who can introduce you, by all means, go for it. But a genuine email can do the trick too. Keep it brief and pertinent by introducing yourself, letting them know who recommended them, explaining why you are seeking mentorship, and asking for a face-to-face meeting. Even if they don’t feel like they would be able to help you personally, I’m sure they can offer suggestions for other people who might be better suited to help.
During your first meeting, remember to be yourself! Try to establish what you are looking for in a mentor. Ask how they prefer to be contacted if you have further questions whether it’s via email or more face-to-face meetings to establish a mentor/mentee relationship. Happy hunting!