The PGSA Mentor Program provides support for incoming first-year students in the Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate program to help improve their transition to graduate school.

How we accomplish this goal:

  • Current graduate students (mentors) will be matched with incoming students (mentees) based upon research interests and potential transitional needs.
  • Mentees will be introduced to their mentors during orientation week. Mentors will have open communication with mentees and meet up in-person, monthly. Specifics will be agreed upon by the mentees and mentors.
  • Mentors will be a source of support to complement functions of the temporary advisor.

Matching Procedure:

  1. Contact incoming students about interest in having a mentor for the coming year.
  2. Students who are interested in having a mentor will be asked for a short bio and any concerns about starting a graduate program and life in Baltimore. No specific questions will be posed to the mentees. All information is voluntary.
  3. Mentees with be matched with mentors who are most suited to provide a successful support system.
  4. Mentors will be asked to make the commitment to their mentee to fulfill specified goals.

Mentorship Expectations:

  1. Contact information for mentees and mentors will be provided in advance of orientation to answer questions regarding rentals, moves, etc.
  2. Topics of discussion will be provided for mentors to address with mentees. Topics will include, but are not limited to, time management, expectations of the graduate school, expectations of first-year students, classes, study tips, teaching assistant (TA) requirements, rotation choices, and considerations for deciding on a PI/lab. A guide containing standard answers for these topics will be created with faculty leadership to reflect the department’s expectations and goals. This guide will provide consistency throughout the program.
  3. Mentees will provide dates of meet-ups with mentors and will have access to a PGSA contact who will address any concerns they might have with the mentor program.

Mentorship Objectives:

The PGSA mentor program is dedicated to fostering a smooth and productive transition from undergraduate life and the work force to graduate student life. In order to achieve these goals, mentors who meet the following expectations and are willing to honor the following commitments are needed.

Expectations for the mentor include:

  • Give insight on graduate school
    • Share your experiences
    • What it takes to be a successful graduate student
  • Serve as a contact person for accessing resources:
    • Where to pick up scantrons for tests
    • Who to contact for concerns regarding class
    • Who to contact for concerns regarding rotations
  • Offer support during transition to graduate school lifestyle
    • Offer resource information to aid a balanced classwork, lab work, and personal life
  • Have a commitment to fostering a mentor/mentee relationship

Areas to offer points of advice for incoming students include:

  • Transitioning to a more independent lifestyle in graduate school
  • Differences in graduate versus undergraduate classes
  • How to make a good impression during a rotation
  • Purpose and goals of a rotation
  • How to use a temporary advisor
  • How to choose a permanent advisor
  • How to register for classes
  • How to TA