I am interested in mentoring but have no experience. Can you provide me with tips and tricks for successful mentoring?

We plan to provide mentoring resources in the future at this site, but for now we suggest a quick web search. There are plenty of resources available for free which can get you started in mentoring. As a starter, you can for example read this article in the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rajesh-setty/9-characteristics-of-a-good-mentoring-relationship_b_6674602.html

I am an undergraduate student and found a mentor I like, but the mentor profile states that this person is only interested in mentoring postdocs. Is there anything I can do?

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do. We allow both mentees and mentors to declare their preferences in mentoring to maximize the mutual satisfaction in the program. Surely, there is a good reason why this person chose to only offer mentoring to postdoctoral fellows. 

My request for mentoring has been turned down twice already. What can I do to improve my mentee profile to get the mentor I want?

First, make sure that you fill in all applicable information in your mentee profile. The more the potential mentor knows about you, the better they will be able to judge if you will be a good fit. It is especially important to think critically about your mentorship expectations and to clearly explain what you would like to get out of the relationship. However, make sure these are realistic! Remember that potential mentors are busy women too and that the higher the level of the mentor (i.e. professor), the less time they may be able to devote, compared to a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow.  

This is not a question we received, but I want to share with you a few useful things I learned by participating in the Faculty Success Program as they pertain to mentoring and time management.

A few thoughts on mentoring: Successful mentoring is an important element that can help your career. Sometimes we have difficulties identifying what we need in terms of mentoring and who may be suited to "do the job" and mentor us. Keep in mind that a single person may not be able to fulfill all your mentoring needs and that your needs will change with time and career stage. Thus, it may be useful to have one "main mentor" and multiple "side mentors" for specific concerns. We hope that our personalized mentoring program can provide you with that main mentor who can fulfill your current needs the best.

5 simple tips for better time management:

1. Develop a daily writing routine. This can be as little as 30min per day. Find a time where you can focus and keep that time in your schedule. Do not allow other things to take this time away from you. Daily writing has to become a habit like brushing your teeth. You will see you will get much better at writing by practicing it continuously.

2. Start early and don’t wait until the deadline is near. You can think clearer without a deadline looming over you and you have the time to revise/rethink – sticking to #1 really helps with this.

3. Set priorities and learn to say NO. It’s OK to not be able to do everything.

4. Sleep is important for your brain to function properly. Don’t cut down sleep.

5. Lower your standards. This is a difficult one to do. Try in an area where you can accept it. If you have a lot of things on your plate, you need to do this with some things to have more time for others which really matter. For example, buy a cake for your next party and don’t try to bake it yourself. Saves a lot of time. NEVER apply this to your science.

6. Have a calendar and plan your time ahead at the beginning of the week. Try estimating how much time things will take, then check at the end of the week how realistic this estimate was to learn to improve this skill (or say NO more often!).

I am interested in a mentor who currently has no availability for more mentees. Is there a waiting list I can be put on?

We don’t have waiting lists. We hope that most of our mentor-mentee relationships will last for a long time, thus if you feel you need a mentor now, it’s best to go with your second choice instead of waiting for your first choice mentor to become available.

 I am interested in becoming a mentor, but I am only interested in mentoring graduate student. Can I specify this?

Yes, you can note in your profile if you only want to mentor a specific group/career level.

I am not sure who would be the best mentor for me: graduate student, postdoc or faculty. Can you advise?

You know yourself and your mentoring needs best. They will set what is best for you in terms of mentor. For example, if you are an undergraduate student looking for advice in applying to graduate school, then a graduate student who has just successfully gone through this experience may be your best mentor. 

I am the spouse of a UCSD faculty member working in biotech and would like to mentor students. Can I sign up to the program without a UCSD email address?

We would be excited to have you in the mentor pool! Unfortunately, without a UCSD email address you cannot sign up to the program. But you can email us with an access request and we can manually give you access to the program.