What’s one of the smartest steps you can take during your graduate studies at Berkeley? Seek out opportunities to develop mentoring and other leadership skills to prepare yourself for future careers. Whether within or beyond academia, nearly all professions call for abilities to share knowledge and skills, to work well on a team, and to help others in working toward common goals.
One such mentoring possibility is on the horizon next summer. If you are in a doctoral program and you’ll be doing research, consider the benefits of teaming with an undergraduate eager to explore your topic, learn your methods, and help advance your work. Student Mentoring and Research Teams (SMART) provides summer funding for both graduate and undergraduate participants and opportunities to share research results on campus and at national conferences.
You can benefit in several important ways. You’ll be the linchpin of a vertical learning community with your faculty sponsor and an undergrad (selected by you from a pool of applicants) who is interested in graduate studies. You’ll not only receive research assistance at a crucial time in your progress toward degree completion, you will also be coached in developing mentoring skills that will make you more competitive in the academic or professional job market and will serve you well in any career you undertake.
Past participants have, without exception, reported that their experiences exceeded their expectations — their summer partnerships were engaging, productive, and fun! SMART’s fifth cohort will form in summer 2016; visit the SMART website for more information about the application process.
Whether or not SMART is the right fit for you, don’t forget to check regularly our new Graduate Professional Services webpages as a way to get started, and keep active, in identifying and assessing needed skills and planning your next steps in professional development. It’s never too soon to start!
Fiona M. Doyle
Dean of the Graduate Division
Donald H. McLaughlin Professor of Mineral Engineering