A mentor is someone who provides guidance, assistance, and support to a less-experienced individual. The individual, a mentee, is a person who benefits from the guidance and assistance by learning from those who walked a similar path before him or her. In the context of graduate studies, an advisor–student relationship is consistent with this description.
The faculty member’s role as advisor and mentor to a graduate student may be one of the most important relationships for the student during his or her degree program and beyond. Essential interactions include coaching for skill development, providing specific feedback on teaching and publications, giving career advice, and bridging professional networks for the mentee. However, the scope of the relationship is often varied and open to interpretation. As a result, gaining the tools necessary for success is essential for doctoral trainees, but it is often unclear how these needs can be met without supplementary support.
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