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5 Ways to Find a Mentor

Tips from UMKC students and alumni

UMKC faculty are leaders in their fields — and they want to help you. 

With a student-to-faculty ratio resembling a small private college, it's no surprise that UMKC professors know their students by name. Students find faculty supportive in their endeavors both inside and outside the classroom and many take advantage of the opportunity to seek them out as mentors.

For some, the idea of seeking out a mentor can be intimidating. It shouldn't be! Here are some tips from students and alumni on how they found their mentors at UMKC. 

1. Look for someone who's already mentoring.
Ada Thapa and Ryan Mohan in a lab at the School of Biological Sciences
Ada Thapa and Ryan Mohan in a lab at the School of Biological Sciences

“Dr. (Ryan) Mohan believed in me and helped me become a scientist. He helps students like me who are trying to get into research but don’t have any prior experience. I got accepted to four different graduate schools for my master’s program because of my skills and experiences that I have learned from UMKC.” - Ada Thapa '17, Biology

 

2. Identify an expert in your field.
Chad Feather and Ben Williams talking in the Bloch Executive Hall
Chad Feather and Ben Williams talking in the Bloch Executive Hall

“It is important that your mentor has been where you are and can give you the pros and cons of each important decision you have to make. Also, it is important to find somebody who has a similar personality that allows you to relate to each other. Finding Ben (Williams) as a mentor has been extremely helpful in growing and developing at UMKC.” - Chad Feather '17, Business Administration-Marketing and Entrepreneurship

 

3. Work at building a relationship.
Sydney Harvey and Clancy Martin of the College of Arts and Sciences talking on a bench outside Haag Hall
Sydney Harvey and Clancy Martin of the College of Arts and Sciences

“Make up excuses to go to their office hours, find research they can help you develop and constantly ask their advice about your work.” - Sydney Harvey, Philosophy '16, M.A. Theatre '18

 

4. Find someone who challenges you.
Ryan Holmes and Megan Hart of the School of Computing and Engineering
Ryan Holmes and Megan Hart of the School of Computing and Engineering

“A mentor isn’t someone who always cheers you on or focuses on your successes. They may do that, but more importantly, they will chip away at areas of your weaknesses and channel your strengths so that you can be the best version of you.” - Ryan Holmes, Civil Engineering '13 and '16, I.Ph.D. '18

 

5. Take initiative and pay it forward.
Mona Lyne of the College of Arts and Sciences and Parker Webb of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management
Mona Lyne of the College of Arts and Sciences and Parker Webb of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management

“Dr. (Mona) Lyne and I would not have our relationship today if I hadn’t gone above and beyond to hunt her down and get the opportunities that she provided. That said, if you’re looking for mentorship, mentor someone, too. There is nothing that will make you a better mentee than being a mentor and anyone can do it. I am a Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City and it is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.” - Parker Webb, Political Science '14, M.S. Entrepreneurial Real Estate '18

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Published: Jun 3, 2019

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