Mentoring

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We all have numerous mentors in our careers who serve as guides and inspirations to allow us to achieve our full potential. A prime current example is your Principal Investigator (PI), who should serve as your main “go-to” person for career advice. However, in reality, your PI is one of many people willing to help you, yet understandably they can be very busy. Taking the time to talk about and plan your career path may not be their first priority, and as scientists, we also acknowledge that individuals can have a biased viewpoint. Therefore, we are rightly encouraged to seek additional mentors to help us on our way to success, but this is an extremely daunting task.

The PDA Mentoring Committee is here to help! By organizing peer-mentoring groups and speed-mentoring with the all-stars of science, we will help you identify and develop the skill set needed to have a successful post-doc at Children’s and prepare you for the post-doc afterlife.


ALL-STAR MENTORING EVENT


The mentoring committee organizes a yearly mentoring event where you are able interact with the most successful scientists in the Boston area.

The first All-Star Mentoring Event was held on Sept. 12, 2013 at Longwood Hall (within the Galleria)! Twenty renowned faculty members (listed below) from Harvard and MIT sat down with post-docs in small groups to answer questions and give very valuable and honest career advice!

BCH PDA

PDA 

The attending mentors: David Altshuler, Tania Baker, Sangeeta Bhatia, Diane Bielenberg, James Bradner, Joan Brugge, Connie Cepko, Martha Constantine-Paton, George Daley, Ben Ebert, Eva Guinan, Sue Lindquist (pictured above), Harvey Lodish, Ellen McCarthy, Marsha Moses, Derrick Rossi, Amy Wagers (pictured above), Ting Wu, Rick Young, and Len Zon.

If you would like to help organize next year’s event, please contact us at postdoc-mentoring@childrens.harvard.edu

The Mentoring Committee is co-chaired by Didem Demirbas Cakici and Tahmeena Chowdhury and meets on the first Monday of every month at 12:00 pm in the Starbucks by the Boston Children's parking garage.

PEER-MENTORING GROUPS

The committee organizes mentoring groups, where in an informal, confidential, and small setting (max 5 research fellows) you will engage with peers and a more senior research fellow mentor. Your mentor will guide and assist group members to sculpt realistic career goals and discuss the paths and skills needed to succeed, while sharing each other’s valuable experiences.

The topics of the mentoring group will be tailored to the needs of the particular stage you are at. For instance, a mentoring group for first year post-docs will be more focused on your experiences getting settled at Children’s, how to keep standing and be noticed in this high-demanding and competitive research environment, how to get funding and how to build up a professional network. Senior post-doc mentoring groups will focus more concretely on preparing to enter the job market.

Mentoring groups are encouraged to meet at least every 2-3 months for one year, but successful groups may decide to meet more frequently. We will strive to make each mentoring group as diverse as possible to allow for maximum viewpoints.

JOIN A MENTORING GROUP! Don’t miss this unique opportunity and join a mentoring group! Contact us at postdoc-mentoring@childrens.harvard.edu

  • Build a support network, share your experiences and learn from others.

  • Expand your network at Children’s Hospital Boston. Networking is key to a successful career! Often, whom you know is important to helping you up the career ladder. Your mentoring group can also be a source of reagents and novel collaborations, as well as friendship!

  • Get (editorial) advice on writing grant proposals/manuscripts/research plans.

  • Get advice on alternate career paths. PIs often only really know about their own career choice, and while they can provide great assistance with an academic path, they fall short when it comes to switching to industry/biotech/government/journalism/etc. The PDA also has a career development committee devoted to setting up opportunities to meet with, and hear from, people from alternative careers.

  • Realism. Sometimes we want something so much we delude ourselves. Not everyone gets to be a PI, and your mentoring group will give you their honest unbiased opinions on your concerns.

BE A MENTOR! Share your valuable experiences and life lessons, make an impact on the professional development of young research fellows and become a mentor! Contact us at at postdoc-mentoring@childrens.harvard.edu

  • Make a positive impact on others!

  • Build a support network, share your experiences and learn from others.

  • Expand your network at Boston Children’s Hospital.

  • Good for your CV! Mentoring is an important leadership skill. You helped to provide others with advice to help their career. Potential employers lap up “soft-skills” like a cat with cream! All of your time served will be a large plus to beat your competitors when going for that dream job.

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO
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