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Finding a Laidlaw Mentor is an essential part of the application process. Any Tufts Faculty may be a Laidlaw Mentor and you can find a list of faculty who have stated they are interested in being contacted about being a mentor here.

Advice from 2019 Cohort Laidlaw Scholar, Mateo Gomez:

On finding the right mentor:

- Speak to any friends you have doing Laidlaw / other research about how they secured their opportunities

- Read their bios on the department website. Narrow down a list of professors whose research gets you most excited. Also think about what you want to do professionally. How can your research advisers contacts help you?

- Ask professors you know well/your major advisor if they know who to re-direct you to. 

On reaching out to a mentor:

- If you've taken a class with that professor/know them, be sure to preface with your personal connection 

- Make sure to be very clear about why it is you want to work with that professor. They are more likely to respond if they feel you value their work.

- Don't list too many of your qualifications. It's fine to briefly touch on why YOU are the someone the professor would benefit from working with, but be more personable in the first email. If they ask for more information then feel free to send a laundry list of qualifications / a resume. 

- If reaching out to multiple professors in the same department, email your ideal professor first and then wait for their response. If that professor has declined, then you should reach out to the next on your list. You don't won't to get a professor excited to work with you and then end up turning them down (especially if you might end up taking a class with them).

On keeping good relations with your mentor:

- Come prepared for each meeting (spend at least 15 min thinking about what you want to discuss)

- Always finish your meetings early (5 - 7 min). Professors are busy, and want to feel like it's not a burden to meet with you. Also, most things can be expressed by email, so don't feel you need to meet to talk about everything.   

- After submitting your Laidlaw application, get them a thank you card and consider getting a small gift (I gave my mentor a chocolate bar). Give thank you cards to your recommendation letter writers as well. 

- Be clear about how frequently you plan on meeting and for how long. While we didn't always follow this, I generally met every other week with my mentor for 30 min. 

- Talk to [the Tufts-Laidlaw Team] if you are having trouble with your mentor relationship 

- Your mentor is there to guide you on your research. They may not necessarily be all that emotionally supportive (depending on the department of course), so don't expect them to help you navigate your feelings. They are not your therapist.