Mentors for Mentors
This event came at the perfect time. This winter holiday, as I rewind from the chaos of the fall, I also begin the process of applying to volunteering opportunities, internships, and clinical experiences. I am in my third year, only three semesters away from graduating and applying to medical. As a premedical student, I spend so much of my time thinking about how every grade and every experience I build now will impact my chances of entering medical school. It’s a mindset that’s often draining when combined with the absurdly high standards I set for myself, but one that has led me to where I am now.
At this event, I was encouraged by the student speakers’ experiences in applying to graduate school and other positions. They offered me key advice on seeking mentorship in your education, dedicating time to researching the programs you apply to, applying to any new opportunities in your school, and prioritizing your mental health when faced with rejection.
It’s only been in the past 2 semesters (in person) that I’ve begun building bonds with some of my professors. Just this fall, I began attending biweekly office hours with my organic chemistry professor. He is one of the best and kindest professors at my school and the main reason for this is that he creates a welcoming and engaging environment with his students in and out of the classroom. I spent many hours in his office each week with other students studying, practicing material, asking questions, and getting to know my professor. Now I’ve excelled in the course and probably have those weekly hours to thank for it. In my experience, building relationships with your professors allows you to become more personally engaged in the material and opens up new opportunities for learning and growth. This spring, I will be working as an organic chemistry recitation leader due to my professor’s recommendation. The relationships I’m building now allow me to not only grow as a student but are the foundation of strong recommendation letters when applying to graduate school. My experience with my organic chem professor and others this fall has encouraged me to continue attending office hours, emailing professors, and working with other students and faculty to become the best student I can be.
I know I just rambled for quite some time about only one aspect of this meeting–seeking mentorship–but that was my greatest takeaway from this excellent meeting. I plan on keeping these ideas and experiences in mind as I move forward with applying to future programs and medical school. Happy New Year!