What’s your current job? And, how has mentoring impacted your life (in college, in the workplace, etc.)? ?
My name is Chris Olola and I’m a Director of Biomedical informatics and Research. Prior to pursuing my academic program in college, my former boss introduced me to informatics. She was a medical doctor but with unparalleled informatics enthusiasm. She saw the potential in me and so literally drive me to seriously pursue an advanced degree in informatics. In college, my Professors and especially my dissertation committee Chair always kept me focused on my research scope, objectives and goal. Without the committee, it would have been VERY hard to keep events on track and graduate on time. The committee always gave me insights on useful and relevant resources for my research. Their guidance was invaluable. At work place, we (all the researchers) always mentor each other. Knowledge sharing and brainstorming ideas is core in research.
What specific things have you been helping your mentee(s) with and how has this experience been for you?
Mainly helping them define their career paths. Coupled with this, the mentees have been in a state of confusion (if you will) on what academic programs would be bets for them, given that they are very interested in pursuing healthcare-related programs. Some of them also wanted to know which healthcare-related program is more interesting and one that would not keep them in the hospital setting. The feeling that I have enabled a mentee to choose their academic career that will see them through to their long term dream professional career, is a great satisfaction to me! The mentees have been very grateful for my mentor-ship and that encourages me to help more, whenever I can!
Why is mentoring important to you? To society as a whole?
Helping people gives me great joy. Although I’ve never met any of the mentees, I know that by them choosing satisfying careers in life, they are contributing to the development and growth of the societies they are in. Equally, I feel that in my small help to the mentees professional growth, I’m making meaningful contribution to the society, in general.