Headquarter's Report: Make a Meaningful Impact Through Mentorship

Author: Stephanie Czuhajewski, CAE, Executive Director

One of the most common requests that I receive from students and audiologists is to help them find opportunities for formal and/or informal mentoring. Most frequently, these requests come from audiologists who are considering practice ownership and would like to talk to a practice owner about opportunities, financial considerations, legal concerns, and potential pitfalls. In other cases, mentees (of all ages and all professional stages) seek very specific input on how to handle a particular situation or issue within their practice or professional landscape. Students often desire to explore different practice settings and learn about the business of audiology.

Every mentoring relationship is unique. Some mentorships are long-term (I know of one approaching a decade), while others may last for only a few email exchanges or phone calls. Finding a mentor with a compatible communication style, availability, and communication preferences is just as important as identifying someone with the experience or knowledge that you seek. Establishing expectations for the level of formality and scope of the mentorship is also important for success.

ADA was founded on the principles of bringing together a community of like-minded audiologists for the purpose of advancing autonomous practice and best clinical and business practices. The most effective way to do that is often through sharing knowledge with peers and future Doctors of Audiology. One of the most surprising things I have discovered over the years in facilitating ADA’s formal and informal mentorship pairings is that the mentor-mentee relationship brings tremendous value to both parties. When I get feedback from mentors, it is often because they want to let me know that they benefited as much (or more) from the mentoring relationship than the mentee did! If you are looking for a meaningful opportunity to give back, pay it forward, and grow in your own knowledge, I encourage you to consider mentoring. ADA has several opportunities available including the following:
  1. Mentor a student at AuDacity 2019. Starkey Hearing Technologies has graciously agreed to continue its partnership with ADA to fund student scholarships to the AuDacity Conference, to be held beginning November 14th at the Gaylord Resort in National Harbor, Maryland. ADA is currently seeking mentors to connect and engage with students during ADA Lobby Day and throughout the educational and networking events at AuDacity.
  2. Serve as an ADA ad hoc mentor. Are you a practice owner? Do you have a special skill or are you an expert in a particular clinical or business area? If so, it is easy to volunteer to be contacted for informal mentoring inquiries.
  3. Become a preceptor and give back to the profession by helping to train future audiologists.
  4. Join an ADA Mastermind Group to participate in ongoing peer-to-peer mentoring. These small groups meet virtually to share ideas that help each other succeed.
Contact me at 866-493-5544 or at sczuhajewski@audiologist.org for more information or to sign up for any of these mentoring opportunities.