by Megan Frame, Membership Coordinator
This past summer we asked our Mentoring Program participants to tell us about their relationships with their mentors/mentees, their thoughts on how best to communicate, their satisfaction with the program, and what we can do to make this member benefit even more rewarding.
Here’s what we learned:
- Different Strokes for Different Folks - Mentoring means different things to different people. You showed us that there is no one right way to engage in a mentoring relationship. Some of you are in contact every other week, while others of you connect a few times a year. In both cases, participants said they felt satisfied with their relationships. It’s a matter of setting expectations from the beginning and adjusting them as necessary as time moves on.
- I Heard It Through the Grapevine - Methods of communicating are growing and changing. Mentoring program participants are using email, phone calls, Skype sessions, and in-person meetings to support and network with one another (many pairs use a combination of all of the above), taking the flexibility of a mentoring relationship to a whole new level.
- Right In Your Own Backyard – You prefer your mentor/mentee to be in close proximity. We were excited to hear that some of you are scheduling in-person lunches and site visits with your mentor/mentee. You are making time for one another and your institutions are better off for it. With this in mind, we are going to strive to make more matches between individuals who work in the same region of the country, but to do this we need you to get involved! If you are attending the 2012 Advancing Ethical Research (AER) Conference in San Diego, CA, come visit the PRIM&R Booth to get started with the program, tell us more about your mentoring experience, and meet up with others who are benefitting from this program, too. Can’t make it to AER? Fill out our online matching survey.
- Jack of All Trades – Many of you are doing a little bit of everything. Whether you are a mentor to one individual and a mentee to another, or simultaneously playing both roles in your mentoring relationship, you all have something to give and something to learn. Remember, you don’t have to have 38 years of experience to be a mentor! Some of you asked for an additional mentee, while others of you explained how beneficial it is to have another professional off whom to bounce ideas when you’re in a pinch. We’re thrilled you’re making this program your own.
Of course, there is nothing better than hearing directly from participants. Here’s what they've been saying:
- “I have been a mentor and mentee and found that both relationships have helped me in my current job.”
- “The mentoring program is one of the best benefits of being a PRIM&R member. I have worked with my mentor through thick and thin, and his guidance has helped me navigate both regulatory and professional quagmires.”
- “My mentor is very knowledgeable and answers my questions quickly and cheerfully.”
- “I feel very fortunate to have been paired with my mentor. I greatly value his advice and learn a lot every time we speak.”
- “My mentor has been a tremendous asset to me.”
- “My experience as a mentee has been overwhelmingly positive. I have gotten so much out of the mentoring relationship from both a professional and personal standpoint. I highly value this program and believe that my mentor has made a strong contribution to my development as an IRB professional.”
If you are interested in joining the hundreds of PRIM&R members who are already participating in the Mentoring Program, simply fill out PRIM&R’s online Mentoring Program Survey and identify your personal areas of interest, institution type, and goals for the future. Based on this information, PRIM&R will connect you with another individual who complements your needs, and, as you learned above, the rest is up to you!