Career Tip: Identify a Good Mentor

Jun 20, 2018

Having a mentor can be invaluable as you advance your career. Mentors not only help hone your knowledge and skills, but can also open doors to new professional contacts and opportunities. Learn from an ASCP pathologist, laboratory professional and resident about how they leveraged the talents of their mentors to guide them on their career paths.

Pathologist

“Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Find a mentor early in your training and practice, as they could help you tremendously in different aspects of your career. Not only did I gain from my mentors’ experiences and expertise, but also they helped me network with influential people, land my first job and develop a sharper focus professionally.”

Maryam Kherad Pezhouh, MD, FASCP

Laboratory Professional

“Having the guidance of mentors is critical to a having successful career full of diverse professional experiences. Mentors already have their foot in the door of the facilities, organizations, and extracurricular groups that you may aspire to be a part of. Furthermore, they are often offering guidance from a place of ‘I wish I had known this when I was just starting out in my career.’ Identifying mentors is simple if you are observant of those around you. Take a look at the leadership in your workplace and in professional organizations. Figure out what you admire about that individual’s career and then ask them for some background on how they got to where they are today, along with any tips they would have for someone in your position. Showing initiative and letting potential mentors know you are interested in advancing in your respective field allows them to connect you with opportunities you may not have otherwise encountered.”

Michelle Campbell, MLS(ASCP)CM

Resident

“As a pathology resident, I cannot stress enough the importance of having a good mentor. A mentor should be someone who is a positive role model and is willing to share expertise and knowledge to help foster professional development. I have been fortunate to have had several mentors throughout my various levels of training who have helped me in many ways. My current mentor during residency has helped me brainstorm and complete research projects, which has enabled me to attend national pathology meetings and build relationships outside of my institution. My mentor has also helped guide me in the fellowship selection and application process, which can be a daunting task arriving much earlier than anticipated during residency. While you may have one ‘selected mentor,’ it never hurts to seek advice from anyone who may serve in a mentor role!”

Paige Woodham, MD