I have had four advisors in my journey as a scientist through undergraduate, graduate, and postdoc experiences. Now, as I face the next step in my career, one in which I might become an advisor, I am thinking a good deal about my relationship with each of them. All of them without question are/were good scientists. I learned a tremendous amount from each of them, so I have had good scientific role models. However, perhaps with the exception of my undergraduate advisor, I did not consider any of them mentors or friends during the time I worked for them. My question to all of you is, Is this the norm? What do/did you consider your advisor(s)? If you are or have been an advisor, which of these do/did you strive to be? I wonder if there is some mutual exclusion among these roles. For example, I see a mentor as someone who puts the mentee’s interest above his or her own. Is this incompatible with being a hard-driven scientist who is well published and funded?
As always, I look forward to your replies.
P.S. As I created this post, I see that there are a few interesting posts related to the topic:
Don’t Just Sink or Swim: Mentor Intentionally
Moving from Adviser to Mentor
Your Science Avengers: How to Assemble Your Mentoring Team