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'Enlist a Diverse Portfolio of Mentors'

Blogger Comrade PhysioProf says that "one of the most important skills of professional scholarship to develop is the ability to seek, find, and enlist a diverse portfolio of mentors throughout one’s scholarly career, each of whom provides a particular aspect of expertise and insight." His comments serve as a response to a recent post by Dr. Crazy at Reassigned Time, who writes that she may never have come to her "research breakthrough" had she not sought a new mentor once her dissertation advisor ended their mentoring relationship "once my dissertation was defended and filed." CPP says he's "not sure why she assumes that had she maintained a close mentoring relationship with her thesis advisor, she would not have formed additional close mentoring relationships as her career progressed" — he remains "personally close" with his thesis and postdoctoral advisors despite the fact that he's also "sought out various types of mentoring from a number of individuals both at my institution and elsewhere."

During a recent Science Careers webinar, expert advisors Jonathon Jacobs, Ruth Pfeiffer, and Emil Chuck emphasized the importance of seeking additional mentors. Pfeiffer suggest that all her mentees seek a second mentor. Jacobs added that additional mentors, who are not involved in their mentees' day-to-day activities, supply "a fresh perspective." Jacobs and Preiffer both stressed the importance of remaining in contact with their former mentors throughout their careers.

In a comment to CPP's post, Dr. Crazy says that she appreciates her newfound mentors "indefinitely more because I was left out to sea by my diss[ertation] person and I had to find them without his help."

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