Rachael Kroodsma and Gail Skofronick-Jackson: Enduring benefits of mentorships

Gail and I met 1-2 times a month for a year. She was a source of encouragement for me at a time in my career (in my 4th year after receiving my PhD) when I was feeling a loss of motivation. She encouraged me to apply for a promotion and advised me on what I could do in the future to set me up for career success. We also read through a book on developing time management skills and how to work more efficiently, which was a great benefit to me and a book that I will continue to reference in the future. I enjoyed meeting with a woman who understood what I was going through and had the knowledge and past experience to give me helpful advice.

At the IGARSS 2018 Women in Science luncheon, Gail Skofronick-Jackson and Rachael Kroodsma share their insights into the benefits of the WMW Program

The rewards of GRSS mentorships

Qian Zhan (Mentee): I found the Women Mentor Women program on the GRSS website. The reason I signed up as a mentee is that after a few years of research and teaching work, I lost a clear aim and I needed a mentor to help me to get a clear goal and set some practical plans. Then I filled up the form that provided by the program, and after about a month, I was told that I got a match. Then I had a mentor. Josée and I have a video chat through internet about every month. The topics ranged from "how to prepare a poster" to "how to deal with the relationship with colleagues", from ‘’what will you do on vacation" to "each other's hobby". We talked and laughed together. In this program, I got a mentor, I made a friend. Josée has helped me a lot. Now I have a clearer perspective on my career.

Josée Levesque (Mentor): I found in the GRSS mentoring program a good way to share my experience. The feeling that what you have accomplished in your professional life can be used to advise young professionals in their careers is very rewarding. I was paired with Qian, a wonderful young teacher and mother who teaches at the China University of Geosciences. Our different cultures, a similar sense of humor, our love for art, her in the vibrant megacity of Beijing, me in the Canadian boonies make our exchanges rich with interesting subjects. Qian and I met in person at IGARSS 2018 in Valencia. It was a great moment. And I look forward to see her again at IGARSS 2019 in Yokohama where we will be chairing an oral session together.

Qian Zhan and Josée Levesque meet for the first time at IGARSS 2018!