In 2011, Diana Kimball Berlin launched a distributed mentoring movement.
She called it /mentoring — as in, yourwebsite.com/mentoring — and she hoped that, one day, it might become as common to every site as an About page.
“Anyone can be a part of /mentoring,” she writes. “All it takes is a few lines of text on your own website, blog, or other profile, expressing your openness to mentoring and offering a specific invitation to get in touch.”
Say hello! 👋
Very few of the experiences I’ve learned and grown from over the years would have materialized were it not for the people who guided, supported, questioned, and encouraged me along the way.
In an effort to pay that forward, I’d be delighted to share what I’ve learned with anyone who’s interested in pursuing a similar path. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.
Topics might include:
– Venturing into unfamiliar territory. I left business school more than two years into a four-year degree, decided to study something entirely different, and to this day have never once felt as though I made the wrong choice. From that initial decision, I’ve continued to shape my career through a series of what Molly Graham has termed “j-curves”: “a risky career choice … where you bet that you can transfer the skills you currently have to a completely new environment.”
– Deciding to go to grad school, apply for research funding, pursue a career in academia, or leave academia for a career in industry. To-date, I’ve been awarded over $140,000 USD in funding for my research from top universities in Canada, the US, and the UK; taught classes at the university level to both undergraduate and graduate students; presented at conferences and colloquia; served on academic panels and committees; produced three successful, federally funded grant applications; and signed a book deal. My experiences, moreover, extend from the social sciences and humanities to STEM fields.
– The value of long-term travel and/or studying abroad. I’ve studied in four different languages at nearly half a dozen post-secondary institutions around the world. The two summers I spent living in Montreal prior to moving there for grad school provided me with some of the most formative experiences of my life, and the travelling I’ve done since then has been no exception. After moving across Canada for my first Master’s degree, I’m now pursuing doctoral work as an international student in the US.
– Navigating a cross-disciplinary career change. Despite earning offers of admission to PhD programs in English literary scholarship at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford, I chose, instead, to take a gap year after completing my M.A. at McGill University and apply to a new set of PhD programs in an entirely different discipline. Today, I’m earning a PhD in Information Science and pursuing a career in STEM.
Start by telling me a little bit about you and your work, and then let me know how I can be of help. You can get in touch with me directly via mailroom [at] jcontd.com.
The next generation 📚
For those interested in launching their own /mentoring pages, here are some of the most helpful resources I used in developing mine:
“The purpose of /mentoring is to get people to essentially hang their sign out that they are open to mentoring. No need to wonder or ask, they’re announcing to the world that they are willing to help others and will provide their time and thoughts to those who seek guidance in the areas that the mentor has established they have experience in.” – Roz Duffy