How to Best Utilize the Mentor/Protégé Relationship

Traci Statler, California State University, Fullerton, USA

Theme: Professional development and mentoring

Program ID: SYM-24

Presentation: October 5, 2013 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Room: Jasperwood


Mentoring, defined as “the developmental relationship in which one person invests time and expertise in another, responding to critical needs and enhancing the mentee’s capacity for productivity and achievement” (Mullen, 2008, p.4) is an important part of any student’s academic journey along the path to professionalism. Yet despite this investment of time and expertise on the part of the mentor, they are only half of the equation. Mentorship is a learner-centered process in which the mentor facilitates learning and is successful only when the mentee (or protégé) shares the responsibility for the learning context, goals, and resources (Zachary, 2000). As such, the protégé will contribute as much, if not more to the success of this relationship. It is therefore critically important for students to carefully assess their goals, responsibilities and commitment-levels with regard to this relationship. In this section of the symposium, characteristics of successful and unsuccessful protégés will be presented, and suggestions for strategies protégés may consider in their quest to attract a suitable mentor will be outlined. Case studies of successful and unsuccessful protégé/mentor relationships will be used to highlight this discussion. Finally, in conjunction with the other participants of the symposium, a comparison of several mentorship/protégé models and protocols will be presented.

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