Mentoring at Karmanos Cancer Institute

Kinds of Mentoring Relationship

Evidence suggests that mentoring improves professional outcomes for both faculty mentors and mentees. In descriptive correlational studies, mentorship has been associated with improved mentee productivity, promotion, academic self-efficacy, likelihood of mentoring others and career satisfaction. 

Mentoring Foci

The foci of faculty mentoring should include guidance in multiple domains of career development. These include but may not be limited to the following:

  1. Development of independent scholarship/research,
  2. Development of internal and external professional networks crucial to recognition as an independent scholar,
  3. Teaching skills,
  4. Development as a clinician or applied practitioner of a discipline,
  5. Strategies for success and advancement within the institution, school, or department, with attention paid to formal as well as informal measures of success,
  6. Requirements for academic advancement,
  7. Overall career planning, including short-, mid-, and long-term goals,
  8. Management of career challenges – especially for women and underrepresented minority faculty members,
  9. Sponsorship.

Career Sponsorship

Sponsors are generally more senior in rank with sufficient influence in their field to provide key opportunities but may have no other supportive function. Actions such as advocating at a critical time on behalf of the faculty, nominating faculty for selected awards or important organizational memberships, or making strategic introductions to key people within the discipline of the scholar can be single or episodic sponsoring actions, separate from mentoring, that nonetheless may have very significant career impact.

Choose a mentor who has many of the following qualities:

  • Interest in developing your career,
  • Commitment to mentoring,
  • A match with your professional and personal needs,
  • Professional competence,
  • A successful track record in mentoring,
  • Good communication skills,
  • Will provide networking opportunities,
  • Is institutionally savvy,
  • Expresses interest in you as a person,
  • There is potential for reciprocity.

Building Mentorship Network at Karmanos

  1. First, take an inventory of your resources now. To help, the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity put together a mentor map for this work.

    Download the Mentor Map
  2. Next, do you have some empty spaces in your map? Pages two and three of the Mentor Map has some guided questions to help you fill the missing spaces.

  3. Join a research program at Karmanos Cancer Institute. When you join as a member of Karmanos Cancer Institute, you gain access to our network of clinicians and researchers in a variety of fields and specialties. Learn more about Research Membership at Karmanos here.

  4. Make a Mentor/Mentee Compact with your mentors.

    A Mentor/Mentee Compact can help put in writing what the mentee and mentors are going to bring to the mentoring relationship. We recommend you meet with your mentors quarterly to address progress, think through obstacles, and adapt the plan if necessary. These meetings should be mentee-focused, and mentee initiated.

  5. Evaluate your progress and mentor relationships. Mentoring relationships can change over time, and the needs of the mentee may also change as they develop in their career. Not all mentors are the best fit for all situations, so assessing your needs and progress can show the need for change, if possible.