Mentors can help you in many ways in your career. They can help you gain confidence, develop skills in a new job, and even help you get promoted. Many students credit having a mentor as a key to their success.
Role of Faculty Mentor for Students
What are students looking for in a mentor? Do they need someone engaged in their learning process, advising them how to accomplish their goals by exposing them to new experiences, opportunities and professional contacts? Yes, as well as being supportive, non-judgmental and helping them think through important career concerns and decisions. Teacher, counselor, protector, champion-Mentor.
Advice for Choosing an HDFS Mentor
- Talk to your Professors!
Talk to the faculty members who are teaching your classes. These conversations will help them learn more about your strengths and challenges and, even if they are not a good fit for you, they will likely know other faculty members who may be a good mentor for you. If a discussion after class is not possible, send an email to the professor introducing yourself and your interest in the field. Professors like to hear from students and look forward to meeting with you - take the initiative to reach out directly with your interests and questions.
- Visit the HDFS Webpage
Look over the faculty bios on the hdfs.gmu.edu webpage, and read about the work that each faculty member is doing. Go ahead and reach out via email to the faculty member to schedule a meeting to discuss your interests and how these might be a fit with the faculty member’s background and interests.
- Talk with an HDFS Advisor
During a regular advising meeting with your HDFS advisor, you can ask for information regarding HDFS mentors. Use this information to reach out to faculty members who seem to have similar interests as you.
- Attend HDFS Events
Plan to attend HDFS social events to meet other students and faculty members in an informal environment, and learn about similar interests.