Answer to "How to connect a mentor and the mentee?" 

 

Topic Editor: Lianne Loosveld

In general, there are two options to connect mentors and mentees: formal (assigned) mentoring and informal (organic) mentoring (Johnson, 2007; Sambunjak, Straus, & Marusic, 2010). Formalized mentoring allows for an early start of the mentorship and can make sure each student is (strategically) paired with a mentor. Additionally, a formal mentoring programme can have clear goals that can be measured or evaluated by an institution. Formal mentorship dyads, however, are usually paired by the institute, not allowing mentor and mentee to look for compatibility in style of communication or personality, which could decrease the effectiveness of a mentoring relation. The benefits of organic mentoring, on the other hand, are a greater psychosocial mentoring, stronger commitment from both mentor and mentee, more communication and better outcomes in the long term. However, in institutes where students are to find a mentor by themselves, there usually is a lower number of mentorships overall.

 

Resources

Johnson W (2007). On Being a Mentor: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Sambunjak D, Straus S, Marusic A (2010). A systematic review of qualitative research on the meaning and characteristics of mentoring in academic medicine. J Gen Intern Med, 25:72-78.

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