Mentorship Provides Unique Perspective

April 30, 2012

There are numerous resources touting the benefits of a strong mentorship relationship. Increased understanding, job satisfaction, and career guidance are reported amongst professionals with strong mentor relationships.

The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy is proud to be leading the way for pharmacy schools by pairing first year students with peer, faculty, and professional mentors. These mentors represent a holistic approach to the student’s development and growth during their academic experience.

First-year Pharmacy student Brianne Bakken touted the opportunity to learn from three different mentors, saying, “Having a peer mentor, faculty mentor, and professional mentor provides a well-rounded experience for me as a student. I am able to call on a variety of experiences from my mentors.”

It may be surprising to learn that the benefits of mentorship are not focused solely on the mentee. Mentors also report a variety of benefits stemming from their experiences. From increased job satisfaction and performance to the fulfillment of seeing their mentees succeed, mentors stand to gain much in the process, as well.

“I enjoy conversing with students, learning about their lives, and what brought them to the pharmacy profession and Iowa.  Mentorship to me is rewarding and easy – I listen and share my experiences,” said Bruce Alexander, Professor Emeritus of the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy.

In today’s demanding world, it’s reassuring to know that mentorship doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. Some of the most contented students and mentors report only infrequent or short meetings with their mentors. Perhaps dinner once a semester, or a cup of coffee from time to time is all that is needed to make a significant impact on future pharmacists.

“I met both of my mentees at Starbucks and we shared a cup of coffee/tea and had some good conversation. I enjoyed getting to know the new pharmacy students and hearing about their challenges and rewards during their first semester in the college of pharmacy,” explained Lucinda Harms, clinical pharmacist at CarePro Health Services.

Are you interested in becoming a mentor? Find out more about the professional mentorship program on the College of Pharmacy website, or email Barbara Kelley.