My mentoring breakfast started with an early wake up time of 5:00 am. I am not one to choose this time normally, but I felt the SOT Mentoring Breakfast was worth the missed sleep.
In the sciences, I find it difficult to find mentors. Although collaborations are encouraged, it is difficult to cast aside the competitiveness that is inherent in the field, so the fact that the Society of Toxicology feels this session is important enough to run for its third year is a breath of fresh air.
I went to the breakfast expecting to meet my mentor there, but found out quickly that the mentoring was not something that would happen in that room. The setup of the meeting is simple: There was a greasy breakfast with coffee, perfect for waking me up for the coming day. The organizers then explained that the facilitator assigned to your table would be working with you to find a perfect fit for what you want out of the mentorship, and I realized this would work much better than meeting a mentor that fits just by chance. It allows for a more intelligent decision, one that increases the likelihood that you and your mentor will stay in touch.
This upfront research also allows for a beneficial transaction both ways between the mentor and mentee. It allows you and your mentor to grow and learn with each other. I am so happy I ended up going to this mentoring breakfast, and I am sure due to my facilitator's good research on me, my interests, and needs that I will soon be matched with an excellent mentor—once again underlining the importance of that 5:00 am wakeup call.