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Mentor: Anita Gibson, Deputy Director, MCSP (Maternal and Child Survival Program)


Another feature of this blog is bringing you advice and perspectives from people who mentor, by answering 3 questions.

Here are Anita Gibson's responses:

 What are mentees looking for?
A sense of different paths one can take in international health and strategies to reach both personal and professional goals. 


What 1 piece of advice do you give every mentee you work with?
Solid field experience is invaluable. Learning how to work effectively with multiple stakeholders and colleagues with varying world views is not straightforward.  These skills come with experience - particularly field experience.   


Why are you interested in mentoring?
Admittedly, I haven't sought out mentoring opportunities; rather, I sort of fell into them, particularly with more junior colleagues with whom I work.  After years of advancing my career while raising a family in the US and overseas, I find that colleagues are quite interested in how to achieve both job satisfaction and work-life balance.  I certainly don't have all of the answers but am encouraged if my experience and perspective can help others assess and pursue their interests and priorities.   

Comments

  1. From the vantage point of 30 years in global health, I find Anita's comments about the need for field experience very important. That is because the culture and viewpoint from one Agency (or Department) headquarters is so different than the multi-culture, diverse and non-vertical situation found in the circles of development and government cooperation. A strategic approach to achieving alignment behind initiatives of government is essential, and managing the myriad "HQ initiatives" to avoid competing with host government plans is essential. This takes perception as well as patience. As Anita also notes, achieving work-life balance can be challenging, especially in the context of a foreign mission where there are many layers of duty calling and escapes from the "diplomatic bubble" may be hard to find.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment and perspective - such important reminders! Appreciate you taking the time to comment. Sue

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Miley Cyrus and Me? Yes, Miley Cyrus and Me! ... or How The Voice Demonstrates #Mentoring

It’s always a surprise to people when they find out how much I love TV – and The Voice is in my top 10!
Let’s rewind to mid-2016 – when I noticed ads for The Voice as I was fast-forwarding through commercials. Imagine my surprise when the ads showed Miley Cyrus joining the team as a coach.
I thought: Really? As a Guest Coach – ? She has been so outrageous for the past couple years – and not exactly a good role model.
It didn’t seem a “good” choice to me.

But I love watching The Voice so that overrode my initial reactions.
In one of the first shows of Season 11, Miley had an intense look, as you can see in the photo. It struck me that this must be how I look when I’m on a telcon mentoring session (because suddenly I’ll realize I’ve been so focused on listening and the interaction that I haven’t taken a note or looked at the clock).
And then in the Knockouts (after Belle sang), she said, “I think I'll learn a lot and grow a lot in this experience too.”
My AHA moment (besides realizing my …