I have mentored six or so students, most of them older foreign students. Unfortunately, only one was a woman --- and I'm proud to say she's doing wonderfully. Being a oldster (67) I feel my role is to help older students. There's a big difference between just out of undergraduate school and people returning in their 30, 40s and older. The mystifying thing is that the problems I encounter with students is the same regardless of age: they don't understand the academic game. That's the fun part for me --- helping them achieve their dreams.
I have mentored several female science and engineering students through this program and have always found it to be a rewarding experience. The student-to-mentor matching is done and the overall program is very well organized. It provides a mentoring experience that I wish I had access to when I was a student.
The help I received from all my Mentornet mentors was instrumental in deciding which direction I should take in my career and their support helped me to perservere and finally get there.
I've had the opportunity to mentor eight students thus far. I like the ability to choose specific ethnicities to support, because I know that helping men and women like me, I can make a real difference because I have a better understanding of the cultural, linguistic, and educational challenges they may be facing. The biweekly mentoring suggestions provide great ideas for discussions and remind me to check in on my protege if I haven't heard from them in awhile. I have learned just as much from my proteges as they have learned from me, and it's great to hear from some of my past proteges to learn how they are doing and to share in their successes.
Women are still greatly underrepresented in fields such as physics and engineering. Mentornet provides an invaluable service to women graduate students in these fields by matching them up with experienced mentors. Its not always possible for these students to find professional women in their fields to talk to. Mentornet makes this happen.
We have seen results from Mentornet and recieved comments back from young, diverse chemists about the need and access to any kind of mentoring. I highly support Mentornet's mission and expertise and focus on this important topic. We, as an organization, attempted a mentoring portion of our website, but found our resources spread to thin to really perform the connections and service well. Thank goodness for Mentornet. Keep up the good work.
Excellent way for a busy person to help a student. I spent a few minutes a week emailing a student, answering their questions, developing a friendship, etc, and I was able to help somebody.