Finding a Mentor
Having a mentor during dental school can assist in your leadership development. Keep these tips in mind when looking for a mentor:
- Take a moment to reflect on what you are looking to learn from the mentor/mentee relationship. Then, consider who you know that could become a mentor. Often, mentor relationships grow from established relationships. Maybe it’s your childhood dentist, a faculty member from school or someone you met along the way.
- Make sure to follow up with your mentor — in person, by phone or via email all work well. There’s an old saying in sales that goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Don’t expect a mentor to reach out to offer advice. Be intentional about connecting and talking with your mentor.
- Make sure this is someone that you get along with. Your relationship will grow with your mentor. Think of your mentor as a colleague. You need to be able to bounce ideas off them and ask questions that might feel silly.
- Mentors may come and go depending on where you are in life. The person who mentors you throughout dental school may not be the person that mentors you after graduation. Keep an open mind and always be looking for mentors.
- You may find that you develop more than one mentor relationship.
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Communicating with Your Mentor
Find three sample emails you can use to start a conversation with a potential mentor. Before sending an email, make sure your email address is professional and provide an email signature with general information about yourself such as school, grad year, and leadership positions.