Mentoring Program 2019 – Online!
Welcome to our Online Mentoring program-2019!
We are thrilled to announce the third offering of this program! It was piloted in 2017 and a second round happened in 2018. The program provides professional mentoring to PhD students and postdoctoral scientists, as well as opportunities for alumni to reconnect with fellow peers.
In today’s workforce biomedical PhDs are employed within a variety of fields including: biotechnology, communications, consulting, intellectual property law and science policy—to name a few! It’s a transformative time for scientific training and UC Irvine embraces diverse career paths by inviting PhD and Postdoctoral alumni back to campus to inspire the next generation of scientists.
Since the beginning of the GPS-BIOMED program in 2014, many PhD students and postdocs have been trained through our program and now located in diverse job sectors locally and nationally. We aim to recruit alumni holding diverse positions who are willing to give their time, knowledge and expertise to mentor current UCI trainees. We believe our program will increase career awareness as well as create a community where not only current trainees, but also alumni can expand their networks.
Our mission is to better prepare UCI scientists for a variety of careers, and empower them to become not only skilled researchers, but also polished professionals.
Our scientists undergo excellent research training but often lack exposure to diverse industries and external mentorship, which are essential components of successful career transitions. To address this gap, our mentorship program pairs current trainees with UCI graduate and postdoctoral alumni working in a variety of fields. Additionally, the mentors do not have to be UCI graduates, we have kept the platform open to anyone who would like to mentor our trainees. If you are one of those, we welcome you and thank you sincerely in participating.
The program is designed to meet the following goals:
- Increase awareness of career paths available to PhD’s
- Build a supportive community where mentors and mentees can openly discuss career advancement and preparedness
- Expand networks for both trainees and alumni
Program Format and Duration – Online!
This program will run for 3 months. The format is intended to help participants connect and build mentor-mentee relationships. Given the schedule conflicts and wide geographical distribution of our alumni, this year, we are taking the program online! This will give our trainees the opportunity to be mentored by professionals who are employed nationally in different job sectors.
At the end of the 3 month period, we will try to bring all the mentors together on UCI’s Campus to meet their mentees in real-time and connect/network with their peer mentors.
Time Commitment from Prospective Mentors (Alumni or non-alumni)
The time commitment required from mentors will range from 30 minutes/month to 2 hours/month, depending on their schedule and time. The online platform meetings will ensure that mentors or mentees do not have to travel to participate in mentoring program. The mentoring can happen from any location, any device (computer, phone) and can be arranged anytime based on mentor’s time schedule. Thus, it will be a minimum time commitment from our mentors. Mentors are required to pick a minimum of one trainee as a mentee; however, alumni are welcome to mentor two or three trainees if they prefer.
Interested in serving as Mentor for year 2019? Please sign up here and we will get in touch with more details.
Requirements from Prospective Mentees*
We want prospective mentees to be very mindful of mentor’s time and therefore we will only allow the highly trained and dedicated trainees who are ready to transition to participate in the program. Thus, we will be stringent in selecting trainees to ensure efficient and specific mentoring. Trainees (Prospective mentees) should have fulfilled following requirements before they can participate in our mentoring program:
- Professional development credits (PD Credits): 6 or more accrued credits based on attendance at the events will be used as one of the primary criteria for participation in the mentoring program.
Note: If you participated in any of the Core Competency Program elements e.g Science Communication Skills Course (Sandra Tsing Loh), Elevator Pitch/Effective Communication for Scientists (Bri McWhorter), Business for Scientists (SciPhD), TAP-STEM (Teaching), Science Policy Symposium, MedTech Mixer (Feb 2019), you are eligible to enroll into the program.
- Stage in PhD or postdoctoral training – Only the students who are in their 3rd year or more will be allowed to participate in the program. Postdoctoral fellows who have spent minimum 6 months in their current lab will be allowed to participate
- Complete & Updated myIDP certificate clearly identifying minimum 2 career areas of choice
- All star LinkedIn profile with all sections complete including professional photo, headline, summary of skills, work experience (with STAR approach – Situation, Task, Action & Result), education history, volunteer responsibilities (if any)
- Resume (2 page) or biosketch (CV, if interested in academic positions)
- Statement of goals and purpose on what they would like to achieve out of this mentoring program
- Pick 2 careers of choice (OnlineMentoring 2019 Roster) and list them in their preference order (1>2) and we will try our best to match them with the mentors in that industry. However, this will to most part be a mentor’s decision depending on trainee’s resume, statement of purpose & goals, LinkedIn profile as to who they would like to mentor!
* If you are a dedicated trainee who is ready to transition and need help with fulfilling one (or more) of the requirements to participate, please write to us. We are happy to guide & help.
Registration steps for Trainees to participate in the program
If you are a PhD student or Postdoctoral scientist registered as official GPS-BIOMED member and would like to participate in GPS-BIOMED Mentoring program, you will need to:
- Fill out the registration survey and submit required documents – Mentee Registration Form
- Read the following best practices for informational interviewing and communications with mentors (You will be provided online training session before beginning of the program).
After you complete the survey and upload required documents, we will send you details on the next steps for preparation session followed by online mentoring meeting.
How does it work?
After the mentors confirm their participation in 2019 Mentoring program and allow us to use their information from LinkedIn profile (photo, job title, organization), we will prepare a Mentoring Network Database categorized into different fields (Medical Affairs, Academic, Science Communication, Industry research, business development – to name a few) to be sent out to prospective mentees. Mentees will be asked to select up to 3 mentors of their choice based on their careers of interest.
After we collect prospective mentee’s responses along with the required documents, we will share the mentee package (4 trainee max) with their corresponding mentor(s) of choice. GPS-BIOMED will do most of the work in categorizing trainee future career choice and matching that with prospective mentor’s current job profile. We will organize introductory online session of mentor with 4 prospective mentees (15 mins max) to help mentors make a decision in selecting the trainee(s) they would like to mentor. The mentors will have complete freedom select trainees for mentoring.
The final matches will be announced to each mentee and then the next steps will follow:
- Mentors and mentees will be asked to show their availability via scheduling calendar (When2meet) and time duration for first session
- GPS-BIOMED leadership will finalize the meeting and use online Zoom conferencing platform to set up meeting
- Before the actual online meeting, mentees will be given training on etiquettes of online conferencing, basics of communication with the professionals (mentors), cheat sheet of questions to be asked to get maximum out of the mentoring session
- Given we have large number of prospective mentors interested in the program, we would like to stagger the online meetings to make the program manageable for GPS-BIOMED leadership as well as mentors-mentees.
- The first meeting will be organized by GPS-BIOMED after which mentor-mentee dyad will be allowed to share details of communication (LinkedIn messaging, private email, phone) and take the communications forward on their own
- Mentees will be required to inform GPS-BIOMED on how many meetings they have done with their mentors so we can update their PD credits on our records
For more information or to get involved, please contact: Harinder Singh, Ph.D., Harinder.Singh@uci.edu or David Fruman, PhD., firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions from Prospective Mentors:
- How will I engage with trainees on the online Network?
We use online teleconferencing platform – Zoom to connect trainees with mentors. After matched mentors & mentees show their availability of calendar, we provide details of the call to both parties. The first session will only be for Mentee, where we will train them on basics of online interaction, etiquettes of communication, things to keep in mind while talking to alumni mentors and how to be mindful of their time.
- After I commit to participating as mentor, if my schedule changes, can I opt out of the program?
Of course! Please email us or phone to express your inability to participate and help us to keep in touch for future participation when your schedule opens up.
- Will being on the Mentoring network or participation cost me money?
Nope. Participation in the program is completely voluntary and free of cost. We only need a small time commitment and your expert mentoring advice; we will cover the cost of teleconferencing and scheduling calls.
- Are there any other ways I can help mentees after the program ends such as site visit to my organization, shadowing program, internships?
Yes. We would be extremely happy to get more help from you if time and effort permits you. We want internships and shadowing opportunities to grow organically after your conversations with the mentee. Additionally, if you would like to help us with hosting you at an event, panel discussion or workshop on a specific topic, please write to us. We are always looking for professionals from different sectors who can help us with the career exploration, training and experience part of our program.
- What is GPS-BIOMED Mentoring Network Database?
GPS-BIOMED Mentoring Network database is a resource for our trainees who would like to identify and communicate with professionals who are working in a field(s) that interests them. After prospective mentor’s permission and approval, we add their information on our website for trainees to select mentors from. This ensures that our trainees read about their mentors well in advance and prepare specific questions to save time during mentoring program.
GPS-BIOMED thanks the UCI Graduate Division for supporting the past Alumni Mentor Program by providing alumni mentors willing to give their time, wisdom and expertise.
On June 1st 2017, the Alumni Mentor Program for biomedical PhDs kicked off with a networking event at Newkirk Alumni Center. The program was created by Graduate Professional Success in the Biomedical Sciences (GPS-BIOMED), to provide professional mentoring to current trainees as well as a chance for alumni to reconnect with their peers. Through a series of on-campus and online meetings, participants discuss a range of job opportunities and build a community that supports career exploration, transition and advancement.
In past 2 years (2017, 2018), alumni mentoring produced numerous ways for trainees to hone their career interests. Trainees took initiative and organized 1-on-1 meetings with their mentors, shadowed their mentors at their place of work, and attended networking events together.
“I am now aware of possible careers post-PhD, and worked on a career plan with my mentor that emphasized the skills I would need to be successful,” shared a former graduate student participant.
The program was also extremely valuable for alumni with over 70% of mentors indicating that it expanded their professional network and enhanced their mentorship style. The mentoring program will not only be helpful for our trainees but we would like mentors to also benefit from it. We plan to organize online introduction sessions between the mentees to get to know each other and possibly discuss any concerns they have on the program structure and execution. We are always open to suggestions from mentors in making this program more beneficial to both the parties. Additionally, at the end of the the program, we would like to organize on-campus mentor-mentee event, which would serve as not only culmination of the event but also an opportunity to meet mentor-mentees in real-time.
Southern California is a vibrant academic and business community, home to numerous universities and biotechnology companies. We aim to recruit alumni holding diverse positions that are willing to give their time, knowledge and expertise to mentor current UCI trainees. We believe our program will increase career awareness as well as create a community where not only current trainees, but also alumni can expand their networks. Click here to view the roster of our 2018 Alumni Mentors.
Our scientists undergo excellent research training but often lack exposure to diverse industries and external mentorship, which are essential components of successful career transitions. To address this gap, our mentorship program pairs current trainees with UCI graduate and postdoctoral alumni working in a variety of fields. The program is designed to meet the following goals:
- Increase awareness of career opportunities available to PhD’s
- Build a supportive community where mentors and mentees can openly discuss career advancement and preparedness
- Expand networks for both trainees and alumni
Program Structure & Time Commitment
This program will run for 4 months and will include two on-campus breakfast events and one online meeting.* The format is intended to help attendees connect and build mentor-mentee relationships. Alumni mentors and trainees are required to attend the on-campus meetings, and the time commitment for the entire program is estimated to be 12hr.
Prior to the first meeting on June 1st, trainees will review alumni bios and will participate in a workshop that will cover: program expectations, tips for developing meaningful connections, and fundamentals of professional etiquette. Similarly, alumni will receive material that will provide tips and suggestions for developing a mentoring plan.
Trainee Workshops, Led by Bri McWhorter & Emma Flores-Kim, Tuesday, May 29th, 12 – 1PM, Location: Natural Sciences 2-4201
- This workshop is required for all trainees accepted into the program.
On-campus breakfast #1, Friday, June 1st, 8 – 10AM, Location: UCI Applied Innovation
- 8:00AM: Alumni mentors arrive, get breakfast, and settle in for a brief presentation that will cover: program expectations and strategies to build lasting mentoring relationships.
- 8:30AM: Trainees arrive
- 8:35AM: General welcome & brief opening statements by alumni mentors (Mentor prompt: Why are you here today?)
- 8:45 – 10AM: Meet & greet (Mentors will be stationed at tables, trainees will be free to move around. 10 minute intervals will be announced)
At this first meeting, trainees and alumni will meet and mingle for just over 1hr. Both groups will be advised to wait until the event ends to establish mentor-mentee pairings. Following the event, trainees will begin reaching out to potential alumni mentors and alumni will reserve the privilege of accepting or declining a mentee. Once pairings are established, mentors and mentees will determine subsequent activities—e.g. in-person meetings, shadowing, networking events, book clubs, etc.
Online Meeting, Exact date/time: TBD
This online meeting will feature a new platform developed by the UCI Alumni Association. It will provide a scheduled time for mentors and mentees to check in, review mentoring plans, and continue to get to know one another. More details about the online platform will be provided to all members in the coming months.
On-campus breakfast #2, Friday, September 14th, 8 – 10AM, Location: UCI Applied Innovation
- 8:00AM: Members arrive, get breakfast, and mingle
- 8:30AM: General welcome & brief opening statements by trainees (Trainee prompt: What have you gained from this experience?)
- 8:45 – 9:30AM: Mentor-mentee pair meetings
- 9:30 – 10AM: Free networking & mingling
This final meeting will provide a scheduled time for mentors and mentees to check in and discuss lessons learned and recommended future steps.
Evaluation & Sustainability
Alumni mentors and trainees will be asked to complete two event surveys following each on-campus meeting. The information collected will be used to assess the program’s implementation as well as it’s ability to reach targeted goals. We intend to use this feedback to sustain future offerings and expand the program in the coming years.
Thanks for your attention and making it this far! If you are interested in becoming an alumni mentor, please contact: Emma Flores, Ph.D. (Previous Associate Director, GPS-BIOMED)