I appreciate folks recommending their fav public intellectuals to me. I looked at so many websites yesterday & it’s really helpful. So as a thank you, here is a thread for transparency on what I’m doing here.
My original tweet said that I was looking for models & mentors. That language is very purposeful. I recognize, particularly at this point in my career, that the people I want to learn from are excessively busy & in demand.
Looking for models means finding people who appear to be doing the kind of work you want to do (or living the kind of life you want to live) & learning as much as you can about how they did it.
The last few days I’ve looked websites, CVs, blogs, etc. to learn about these public intellectuals (particularly where they started off) in terms of education, awards, publication venues, conferences they attend, organizations they affiliate with & so on. It’s hugely useful info.
Finding MODELS is 100% free. Finding mentors, however, is different. Mentoring is a relationship. Like any relationship it can have differing levels of intensity & no mentoring relationship looks the same. To get a mentor, you must build a relationship with a person.
You wouldn’t go into a bar & ask someone cute to move in that night. You buy them a drink. You get to know them. You see if they like you. You see if you like them. You slowly increase in intensity. Finding a mentor is a bit like dating in that regard. Not everyone is a good fit.
So for me, as I look for models for how to be a public intellectual, I’m also looking for people who might serve as mentors, with whom I would want to build a relationship & learn from. Not use, not get ahead because of, not get connections from, just have a relationship & learn.
Too often I see folks ask for things immediately. Expect that being mentored means receiving time, energy & frankly, gifts. But again, think about relationships. Do you meet someone’s entire family the day after meeting them in the bar? Don’t try to force it.
To build a mentoring relationship I first learn about them/their work, and follow them on social media. I interact with them publicly (on social media or at conferences) & then eventually I contact them directly with a specific small request.
Often that is a request for them to answer a specific question, give feedback on something I’m working on (in a conversation not by reading an entire article), or give me advice on something specific (i.e starting a blog, publishing in mainstream venues, etc.)
If a person doesn’t have time, I thank them & continue to interact with them publicly. I don’t stop interacting when they cannot do something for me. If they do have time, I keep my interactions focused & express regular gratitude.
I slowly build & increase my level of interaction based on how they respond to me. If you get one word responses, that’s not a good sign. If they write back more than you did or offer to meet/talk more, I take them up on it. And I always try to offer to do something for them too.
Ideally, any mentoring relationship is enjoyable & beneficial to both parties, though it’s likely imbalanced at the start w/ the mentor providing more than they receive. But it should not be entirely one way. A mentor is not your parent. They are your adult, real world teacher.
You need lots of models & mentors for different stages of life/career, different tasks & different approaches. My two main mentors as I wrote my dissertation were very different. One was all tough love & business while one signed all her emails “hugs.” That mix was good for me.
So as I prepare to go up for tenure, I am entering a new phase and looking for new models, new potential mentors. But building those relationships will take time. For now I am grateful to have so many models you all recommended for me to follow & learn from at a distance.
May we all constantly be learning from each other& growing; being mentored by some & also mentoring others. You become a better menteee when you have tried to be a mentor as well.
Well, that’s my morning thread-from-bed on finding models & mentors. Hope folks find it helpful. The key take away is mentoring is a relationship & you should treat it & tend to it as such. #mentoring #academictwitter #networking #professionaldevelopment
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Sami Schalk 🏳️‍🌈
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!