How can effective mentoring relationships benefit me?
Research has shown that effective mentoring relationships promote graduate student satisfaction, success, retention, time-to-degree and job placement. Ineffective mentors and a lack of mentorship, on the other hand, are correlated with longer time to degree, attrition, and decreased satisfaction and perceived success. Lyons et al. (1990) found that graduate students who worked closely with a faculty mentor had a "fuller education" than their counterparts who did not, especially in terms of students' socialization into the norms and methods of their disciplines. Golde (1998) suggests the importance of mentoring in early academic socialization (including both support and authentic research experiences that help students envision and make crucial decisions about their disciplinary futures), while Chao (1997) found that, though the perceived benefits of mentoring differed according to what "phase" the mentoring relationship was in (Initiation, cultivation, separation, or redefinition, as defined by Kram 1985), mentoring positively affected career planning and perceived success during and long after the mentoring relationship waned. Overall, the research strongly suggests that effective faculty mentoring relationships have both important "career" and "psycho-social" functions that support graduate student success at each stage of professional socialization (Kram 1985).