Global Health Mentorship
Global Health Mentorship aims to facilitate meaningful connections between global health trainees and faculty members and/or CGH Scholars who have extensive global health experience. Mentorship is a learning relationship with the primary goal of driving professional and personal growth for the mentee, where they can benefit from their mentor’s support, wisdom, and teaching over time. While the focus of each mentorship pair is unique, mentors can share global health career advice, opportunities, networking suggestions, and global health knowledge.
Mentorship relationships should be initiated and maintained by the mentee with the first meeting focused on reviewing short- and long-goals that the mentee has established. The most successful mentoring relationships are ones where both the mentor and mentee believe the mentee is making progress on defined goals.
This guidance is intended for long-term mentorship relationships; students looking for a specific research project (with an associated mentor) should review the information found here.
- Before initiating contact with a potential mentor, the mentee must be able to articulate their goals for the mentorship relationship. Mentorship pairs can discuss mentee challenges, necessary skills for global health, opportunities for further development, and other topics as identified by the pair. Keep in mind that the mentor can provide meaningful guidance for the mentee’s professional goals only if the mentee has thoughtfully prepared for each meeting.
- Recognize that faculty members may get many requests for mentorship and that their time is already limited. Be clear about how often you want to meet and for how long, and make sure it works for them. If they are unable to commit to being your mentor, ask if they might have recommendations for other faculty members/colleagues that you could contact based on your goals and areas of interest.
- The frequency and length of mentorship meetings are flexible and dependent on mentee and mentor schedules. The mentee is encouraged to reach out to their mentor at least once per semester to arrange a meeting.
- Mentees are encouraged to speak to their mentor about their global health interests and to seek guidance and/or connections to related opportunities. Understand that your mentor may not be able to offer you an opportunity for research, fieldwork, etc.
- Recognize that mentorship styles are unique to the individual.
- Mentees should help to maintain an environment of confidentiality if requested by their mentor and feel free to request the same from them.
How Do I Find a Mentor?
There are many ways to find a global health mentor. To brainstorm a list of people to reach out to, consider the following:
- Your existing network. Look at the community around you, including coworkers, family friends, and your college alumni network. Some of the most practical and relevant advice can come from a mentor who is only a few years ahead of you in their career. Consider existing resources like a peer in your PSOM House.
- Courses you’ve taken and the professors you’ve had. Were there any guest speakers in your global health courses that work in an area of interest to you?
- Professional contacts you’ve made. Former bosses or colleagues are a great starting point and can often provide introductions to other people in their network. Think about speakers at global health conferences or trainings you’ve attended.
- Look for different perspectives. You can learn a lot from a mentor who doesn’t do the same thing that you hope to do i.e. how to work with different people, learning varied communication styles, and creative thinking.
- Research the CGH Scholars. There are many Scholars associated with CGH who may be a good fit for you. Before researching, think about your preferred specialty, research area, geographic locations, etc.
Reaching Out to Potential Mentors
- There is no one way to establish a mentoring relationship. Some students may want to directly ask people to mentor them, while other students may be more comfortable starting a conversation with a potential mentor and allowing that relationship to develop organically.
- Tell the potential mentor about yourself, your interests, and why you’re reaching out to them. Indicate what you’re working toward, skillsets you’re hoping to develop, projects or areas you need support in, and why you’re asking them rather than someone else. The initial conversation can help you decide whether or not it feels right to move forward with asking them to be your mentor.
If you are having trouble establishing a mentorship relationship and have reached out to several individuals already, CGH may be able to recommend mentors that you can reach out to. Click here to complete the mentee interest form.
Already have a mentor?
Please let us know here! We will check in with you during your mentorship and provide resources and support where needed.
- Mentors should respond in a timely manner when mentee reaches out to arrange meetings, either in-person or over Zoom.
- Mentors are encouraged to offer guidance or connect mentees to other colleagues regarding extracurricular (research, volunteer, etc.) opportunities but should not feel obligated to provide their mentee such an opportunity.
- Mentors should help to maintain an environment of confidentiality if requested by their mentee and feel free to request the same from them.
Interested in becoming a mentor?
Interested in signing up to be a global health mentor? Please click here!
- Read the insightful mentorship-focused Q&A with Paul Mather, MD: https://hfsa.org/hfsa-member-spotlight-paul-j-mather-md-fhfsa
- Review Best Practices for Effective Mentor-Mentee Relationships resource from The Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT): https://www.itmat.upenn.edu/itmat/education-and-training/assets/user-content/documents/junior-symposium-2019/best-practices-for-mentor-mentee-relationships.pdf