What advices would you give to yourself when you started?

Sharing your experiences to the new generation of young PIs can help build the future of Science
Published in Ecology & Evolution
What advices would you give to yourself when you started?

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I am not that old – I was born in 1991. But I was fortunate enough to experience the time before technology took over our lives. Like many, I spent my childhood playing on the streets, with other kids in the neighbourhood.

Before Google Maps, GPS, and mobile apps, people used to ask for information to find places and go somewhere. Countless times have I seen my mother or father ‘rolling down the car window’ and asking, ‘excuse me, how can I find [fill in the blank]?’ I myself have done that several times, and still do – although less frequently. But I noticed that this is a rarer behaviour nowadays, largely because of all the gadgets that help us find our way through the streets of a new city. People don’t talk anymore, and in fact, some will go through great lengths not to do so, even when technology fails.

Google PI Maps?

Since I was 7 years old I wanted to be a biologist and a scientist and in 2020, I am now starting my research group.

But, wait…

How do I do this? Is there a Google ‘PI’ Maps app for download?

I am old-school. I believe that sometimes, it is okay to be vulnerable and ask for help. In fact, I strongly believe that mentorship is one of the greatest gifts to anyone’s personal and professional development.

So here I am, rolling down my virtual window and asking for your help.

Maybe you are a Professor have built a successful group. Maybe you have just started and is figuring out the road. Or maybe you are not a researcher, but you have experienced the anxiety of starting something new for the first time, something you have dreamed about long ago and now is here. Regardless of your position, I would like to borrow your knowledge and ask for mentorship.

  • What would you wish to have known when you started?
  • What advices were most helpful to you throughout your career (until now)?
  • What was the most impactful lesson you have learned and whom did you learn it from?  
  • Anything else you think I (and others) should know?

To me, the beauty of mentorship is that I can experience different worldviews and opinions to design my own path. Unlike in Google Maps, sometimes it is a good thing to make detours, face some road blocks, or go through a different street. This technological mentorship will allow me – and many others – to have a more fulfilling ‘drive’ and be, beyond any shadow of a doubt, a better leader. So, ‘excuse me, would you help me?’

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