Based in the Bournemouth University Business School (BUBS), Dr Jeff Bray is a Consumer Behaviour researcher and educator focused on the societal challenges of sustainable consumption both from an environmental perspective and a personal (health) perspective. In this blog post, Jeff discusses his experience of mentoring and how it has helped and supported him throughout his career.
For me, mentoring started during my doctoral studies, building close working relationships with my supervisors. On completion, (though it has never been said & they might be surprised to read it here!) one of my supervisors seamlessly transitioned from supervisor to mentor. They initially invited me to join one of their funded research projects which proved to be an invaluable learning experience providing crucial exposure to the funded research landscape. Over the years we developed a number of bids and papers together, and the informal mentorship that has been implicit in this has helped me to gain confidence, knowledge and crucially the networks necessary to develop my own research leadership.
Being an academic can be really tough, juggling teaching commitments, supervision, administration alongside advancing research projects. A few wise or encouraging words from a mentor who has been through the same experiences can be so helpful. An effective mentor/mentee relationship relies on being open about concerns and thoughts and being willing to both give and receive honest feedback! Certainty the forthright feedback from my mentor has helped me develop my research skills considerable and I now find supporting colleagues with their research development really rewarding, perhaps I have becoe one of the informal mentors 🙂