Within the framework of the first mentoring program “CheMento” of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh, German Chemical Society), 60 participants experienced with a hitherto unknown person an intensive joint venture: 30 experienced chemists were mentors to 30 young colleagues; they each formed a tandem team for one year. Three events accompanied the cooperation of the teams: one at the beginning, one in the middle, and one at the end. Here mentors and mentees met in order to obtain supporting information, exchange ideas, and finally to officially end the program in February 2015.
The goal of the CheMento program was the individual support of each mentee in questions about their career planning. Most mentees were looking for guidance and support for the career move after graduation. Questions included weather to start an industrial or academic career, weather to perform postdoctoral work or not, as well as questions around the future work-life balance with a partner and/or children. Most of the teams had regular personal meetings where they talked about previously agreed topics.
Mentees said that they especially learned a lot about themselves. “My mentor knew how to ask the right questions. This changed and broadened my perspective on myself, my professional development, and my wishes for the future.”, one mentee said.
The Board of the GDCh has given green light to continue the program every two years. Thus, there will be a new call for applications to be a mentee or a mentor in September.
- Ein Jahr CheMento — was lief, was bleibt, was kommt,
Karin J. Schmitz,
Nachr. Chem. 2015, 63, 584–585.