Interview with the mentor Dr. Alina

Interview with the season 1 mentor Alina

Interviewer: Olya Vvedenskaya

Olya: Tell me, please, why did you apply to join the program? 

Alina: First of all, I like the concept of mentoring: I can help someone and pass on my knowledge and experience. For me, there is a volunteer aspect to it [note - working as a mentor]. And secondly, I was motivated to develop my skills as a mentor. In the company where I work, managers have special educational courses, and the company supports and encourages mentoring and helps employees to develop in this direction. It was interesting for me to try myself in this role in my free time, in a completely different context. And thirdly, I was pleased that there are a lot of interesting people involved in the program. Some of them I knew before, others I met during the program.

O: Did you have any expectations for the season from the program at all? And did they coincide with reality?

A: In some ways, the program exceeded my expectations. I was pleasantly surprised by the abundance of activities that went beyond just mentor-mentee networking. The program organizers created a lot of tools for networking. All of these were useful and informative not only for the mentee but also for the mentors. Despite the fact that the program was conducted entirely remotely, there was a feeling of full inclusion because of the level of interactivity created. 

In support of the above, I would like to point out that the originally proposed mentor-mentee binomials are nothing more than a convention. Thanks to the tools created by the organizers, all participants had the opportunity to find what they were looking for in the program by contacting a variety of people in different parts of the world.

 For me, for example, it happened that I didn't feel absolutely useful for my originally assigned mentee. But through community work and active networking, I met other folks for whom my experience was much more relevant. So the program exceeded my expectations.

O: You say you didn't prove too useful to your mentee. What was the nature of your joined work?

A: Initially we had certain goals at the beginning of the program. Afterwards the goals were changed, or maybe her personal situation changed. My main experience consists of working in the industry, and she decided to stay in academia for a while. And I was also able to help her with some conflict resolution. I gave her some advice and after a few meetings she told me that my advice worked. So yes, I did make some contribution to her situation at work, although it had nothing to do with the original goal (participation in the industry transition program).

O: Do you think you got something out of participating in the program?

A: I was able to practice not to impose my point of view, but to help a person to reach something for themselves, to develop. I also really liked our French conversation club. In general, fewer people are interested in French than in English, so we had a mini-club. However, it started to take place on a regular basis with regular participants, we had phone calls almost every week, chatting. I was pleased to get positive feedback from the participants of this conversation club. It was obvious that they enjoyed it and tried not to miss our meetings. In this way I gained experience in teaching French and was able to help other participants, although this was not originally planned in the program at all, but came about completely spontaneously, thanks to the initiative and motivation of the participants.

About Sci.STEPS

Participating in the Sci.STEPS scientific mentorship program is crucial for mentors as it provides a myriad of benefits that contribute to both personal and professional growth. Mentorship not only fosters a sense of fulfillment but also helps mentors stay connected to the evolving trends and innovations in their field. Additionally, mentoring provides mentors with the opportunity to refine their communication and teaching skills, as they adapt to the learning styles and needs of their mentees.