As a graduate student, you're navigating new territory in terms of learning the rules for your research, planning your graduate program and completing your degree requirements. You're also trying to figure out the "unwritten rules," which aren't as clear but are as equally important to your success, like selecting your optimal committee or finding professional networking opportunities. As you paddle down this educational river, you're going to need the advice of someone you trust: a mentor. Think of your faculty advisor or mentor as the captain of your ship, guiding you through the rapids and helping you stay focused on your goals. Your mentor is crucial to your success; be sure to know how to best work with yours.



As you work toward your degree, nothing is quite as important as feeling like you have a clear direction and a feeling of support. It's important to stay in contact with your major professor to understand program expectations. But also think about finding at least one mentor who can help guide you through some of the "unwritten rules" of gradaute education, and see you to the other side: degree completion and a successful career. Your mentor may also be your major professor, another trusted faculty member, or a peer graduate student or postdoc who's a step ahead of you in your program.

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The University Ombuds Office promotes a civil and inclusive campus community by providing informal, impartial, and confidential* conflict management services to all members of the university community.

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University of Michigan faculty handbook on mentoring

This guide was developed to address faculty mentoring needs at a research university. It is written for use at a variety of universities. 

University of Michigan student handbook on mentoring

This is meant as a complimentary guide to their faculty handbook on mentoring and helps raise student awareness on how to get the mentoring they desire.