Today I would like reflect upon a great program I became involved with last year, ACS Virginia Section's Mentor Match program. Last year the pilot was introduced and once I familiarized myself with the program, I decided to run with my role as a mentor. I was never given the opportunity to mentor before, so I was very excited about being involved as an industry professional. I was matched with a local college student who was still deciding what they wanted to do when they graduated in two years. This situation sounded very familiar to me, since I went through a similar situation as I was approaching the end of my graduate career. Unfortunately, I was not aware or knew of anyone who could provide me guidance on the next step. This is why I was so happy to provide an opportunity to mentor this student. We first communicated via email, exchanging background information and eventually I was able to have him come to my work and shadow me every other week while providing him opportunities to communicate with individuals through other departments. This mentoring relationship will continue until he completes his undergraduate career. During this time I hope to be able to set up other opportunities within my site to experience different functions within the pharmaceutical industry. Below is a testimonial he provided for the upcoming mentor season:
During the summer of 2015, I was matched with my mentor,
Heather, through the ACS Mentor Program. Heather is an analytical scientist at
Pfizer Consumer Healthcare in Richmond. On my application I indicated that I
wanted to be able to shadow my mentor; Heather was more than willing to have me
come in on a bi-weekly basis and shadow not only her, but other scientists as
well. This gave me invaluable insight
and an opportunity that would have not been possible without this program.
Additionally, Heather has made herself available to answer any questions and
offer advice on an array of topics: classes, graduate school, internships, and
pharmaceuticals. This program provided me with a mentor who is truly invested
in my future. I highly recommend the ACS mentor program to anyone undergraduate
chemistry student interested in gaining a personal and professional
relationship with a scientist in industry.
This year I will continue mentoring this student while opening myself up to mentoring other students on a limited basis: email, meetings, and phone calls. If anyone is interested in participating in this program as a mentor or mentee. Please contact Colleen Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org).