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Hackademic Guide to Networking: Get a Mentor
Image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/fiddleoak/ under this licence: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
Image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/fiddleoak/  under this licence: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB

Image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/fiddleoak/
under this licence: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB

Hybrid Pedagogy’s Jesse Stommel and our very own Charlotte Frost continue their Hackademic series with a new set of hints, tips and hacks focused on academic networking.

GET A MENTOR. In some universities you might be lucky enough to be assigned a mentor and this may already be working well for you. Perhaps your PhD supervisor is still in the picture. Either way, it’s always worth trying to establish further relationships that will support your career growth. Try to identify someone in your field who you admire. Don’t start by approaching the biggest name in your field, because they probably won’t have time. Look instead for someone a few rungs higher up the career ladder and who you would like to be in regular contact with. Approach them by making it clear how the informal mentoring might operate — for example, you might agree to Skype for half an hour once a month. They’re likely to be really flattered you’ve asked and if you both set out some sort of schedule from the start, then neither of you need worry about taking up too much of their time. You might even decide to collaborate on a project together further down the line. Help lighten your mentor’s workload by providing a few questions/prompts in advance of your meetings. For example you might ask them about the major turning points in their career and invite them to help you reverse engineer the steps involved. Always be ready to help them in return. And as soon as you are ready, take on some mentees of your own!


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