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Mentorship, Fiona Brinkman and Getting Advice

December 03, 2014

The Following post is part of our Brown Bag series focused on supporting the Career Development of Women In STEM based on our Nov 27 event with Fiona Brinkman. It was written by Dr. Cynthia Gershome, BPK Postdoctoral Fellow.

Don’t we all sometimes, need a push in the right direction or a little help along the way?

Fiona Brinkman, one of the World′s most influential scientific Minds: 2014, was spot on delivering a fantastic and an electrifying talk on mentoring. Demystifying common myths, Fiona stressed that mentoring is all about “growing yourself and growing others”. She emphasized that a mentor is one who thinks of a mentee as a person, believes in them and really cares. Fiona says that sometimes, we may already have a mentor but don’t realize it, her advice – get in touch with them and ask for their input. Mentors need not engage in time intensive sessions, sometimes mentors can pass nuggets of information which can be pivotal, says Fiona.

So how to find a mentor? Fiona highlighted that mentoring is relationship-based and a mentor has to have a good personality fit. Strangers cannot be good mentors. Mentors can be friends, colleagues and need not be senior to you. Everybody needs mentors and Fiona stressed the importance of having multiple mentors for different aspects of life, such as career, sports, and communication skills and so on. She also stressed that we all should strive to be both mentors and mentees. Being in a competitive field, Fiona stressed the need for more women in leadership positions across various disciplines. Fiona Brinkman led an engaging talk from the start and finished with nuggets of career advice.

The key takeaways:

  • Develop your network and look within your network for a mentor.
  • Don’t let rejections get to you.
  • Don’t underestimate your potential and always focus on your strengths more than your weaknesses.

 To see Fiona's complete slide go to this link. If you would like find out about more opportunities like this one, email jamsden@sfu.ca to be put on our professional development mailing list.

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