Like pipetting or making a great western blot, mentorship is something you learn on the bench, there simply is no other way. My main experience comes from mentoring undergraduate and new graduate students that came to the lab, so I will discuss how I approach the whole aspect of “Mentorship” and how it contributes to my personal and professional qualities.
My Personal Gain from Mentoring
Let’s be frank, every one of us is looking out for his or her’s best interest and even when we do a favor for someone, we gain something out of it (which is basically not bad at all). So, the best thing that one can achieve from research mentorship is personal satisfaction that your mentee transformed from a wide-eye student with no knowledge how to do an experiment to a relatively seasoned technician that can work independently on an experiment and understand the obtained results (setting aside the success of the experiment). There is of course, the gained benefit that you have additional manpower on your side, but in many cases by the time the mentee knows a couple of assays so he can start produce meaningless data, he/she is already on the move elsewhere (unless they stick to the lab for additional 2-5 years).