Opening lines of communication

Talking regularly about issues beyond research or coursework, examining the multiple roles of a professional in a particular field, or jointly exploring funding avenues and future job possibilities are hallmarks of mentoring that many graduate students describe as high priorities.

The recommendations in this guidebook draw attention to useful concepts that will help students and mentors engage in productive and timely communication. This guidebook also addresses biases, assumptions, and perceptions that hinder such communication and offers ways to eliminate or minimize their negative effects on your relationships with mentors.

No single formula for successful mentoring exists, but we do know that frank and mutual exploration of expectations and interests should be the focus of the first meetings. While this guide cannot provide the answer to every question or scenario that may arise, it does address the factors that influence students' mentoring needs and suggests effective ways students and mentors can promote learning and professional development.