4: Mentor Mixup


It seems that with every activity I’ve pursued, I’ve been urged to find a mentor. “Finding a mentor” seems to be a milestone – something to be achieved – but in reality, it’s a relationship – something to be continuously worked on. So, while I’m incredibly thankful for my research mentor, Joe, I don’t believe it’s enough to just find a mentor. I believe it’s important to find mentors.

To me, a mentor is someone who you see as a role model in some regard. He/She doesn’t have to be perfect in every way, older than you, or more educated than you. When I see someone as a mentor, I see something in them that I myself aspire to develop. I see many of the members of my lab – including my undergraduate coworker, Halimah – as mentors.

From the post-docs in my lab, I’ve learned how to be meticulous in my protocols. From the graduate students in my lab, I’ve learned how to commit to successful projects and drop unsuccessful ones. From the undergraduate in my lab, I’ve learned how to better collaborate. Each of these mentors has made me a better researcher, and for that, I’m thankful.

Thank you for reading.

One thought on “4: Mentor Mixup

  • August 27, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Hi Fatima – I really enjoyed reading your last two posts. The wisdom that you’ve gathered over the course of your three years as a research assistant is quite valuable, and you write about it in a very accessible, empathetic way. Your approach to finding mentors for different aspects of your professional and personal growth resonated a lot with me, as did the idea that anyone with whom you have a relationship of trust and mutual support has the potential to be a role model. As I think about the two posts together, I’m curious if any of your mentors in the lab helped you develop the clarity you have around pursuing an MD instead of an MD/PhD. It’s exciting to hear about what you hope to accomplish in the future!


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