Mentoring Master Class: Peer Mentoring Groups

Mentors shape our careers by guiding us through difficult decisions. But, how do you find a good mentor? In this series, Dr. Joanne Kamens advocates for the use of Peer Mentoring Groups as a method to provide and receive valuable mentoring opportunities. While working towards a common goal, group mentorship allows for an organic development of valuable experiences and accountability for your personal growth as you create a circle of mentors that will help throughout your career.

How do you go about forming a Peer Mentoring Group? In her second video, Kamens explains the logistics of forming a Peer Mentoring Group. First, you need to find 5-6 peers that share a similar problem. As you prepare to meet, you need to set the ground rules and provide structure to your meetings (e.g., provide agenda, assign a leader per meeting, decide on topics of interest, and provide curricula). As Kamens explains, the commitment of the members is crucial for the success of the Peer Mentoring Group. In her third talk, Kamens overviews what are mentorship best practices while running a Peer Mentorship Group. From setting concrete content and activities to setting up goals, these best practices will allow you to create an environment that will help you get feedback and find opportunities to grow.

These short videos are geared towards trainees (or any professional) who wants to start a peer mentoring group for themselves. They are presented by Joanne Kamens, recently the Executive Director of Addgene and peer mentor evangelist.

By Chelsea Xu
Chelsea Xu McDougal Career Fellow