by Lynn Bolles

In the twenty-first century, graduate schools ponder the ways they can enhance the educational experience of their students beyond the seminars where students learn to build good study habits, craft time management skills, and improve their writing techniques. Of all of those enrichments, the key to success in graduate school is good advising. Moreover, it is most imperative for women and other marginalized group members to overcome and circumnavigate class bias, racism, misogyny, sexism, and religious intolerance to have a strong supportive advisor/advisee relationship. The lack of or poor personal and scholarly assistance can undermine the overall quality of graduate school experience (see Gutierrez-Muhs, Niemann, Gonzalez, and Harris 2012). Further, emphasis should be placed not on the quantity or appearance of the support, but on the quality of the advisor/advisee relation. Those acts of shared wisdom, trust, and guidance can make an immeasurable difference. In addition, the qualitative distinction between good advising and good mentoring is found in what attributes are in the latter and not necessarily in the former. Although persisting and prevailing problems might still exist, a good advisor/advisee interaction that segues into mentorship makes for a healthy, happy, and successful graduate student. A mentor helps their mentee to maximize their potential by helping them to be the person they want to be. This holistic approach goes beyond career development. Needless to say, like all human endeavors, the mentor/mentee relationship has its ups and downs especially according to individual personality traits.