Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, Badger Buddies has moved online to Zoom. Summer 2021 meeting information is coming soon. Please contact Badger Buddies co-chair Matthew Warren (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions. Thank you!
Welcome to the UWPA Badger Buddies Program!
A postdoc-to-postdoc peer mentoring program from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Postdoctoral Association (UWPA).
The Badger Buddies program was set up at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by postdoctoral volunteers as a program to assist new postdocs in integrating into the UW-Madison community and to ease the transition from graduate student to postdoc. All new postdocs (< 1 year on campus) are eligible to participate in the program as mentees, as well as all activities and functions the UWPA hosts. Badger Buddies is designed to allow mentees to view the current Badger Buddy mentors and determine if one or more of the mentors has the background, experience, and interests that matches your own and might be able to provide you with the most assistance during your transition.
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How To: Tips for Peer Mentees
- Before joining a Badger Buddies meeting, ask yourself what you’d like to get out of this opportunity and formulate some questions ahead of time. Coming to a Badger Buddy meeting with key topics in mind can help ensure a productive, engaged meeting.
- Focus on problem solving. Badger Buddies aims to bring people within the postdoc community together, and bringing focus to developing actions and identifying goals, ways to move forwards.
- Remember that Badger Buddy mentors are peers and volunteers. Thank them for their help and time, be flexible, and be a positive member of the postdoc community. If you find that a mentor or group might not be the right fit, that’s ok! You are welcome to meet with any mentor in the program.
- Share feedback. As a new endeavor of the UWPA, we will be updating and adjusting the program to best fit the needs of the UW-Madison postdoc community. We can’t do that without your help, and you should always feel free to share feedback with any member of the UWPA Executive Council, or the current head of the Badger Buddies program.
- Keep contact information private. The Badger Buddies program and the UWPA will not share your information, or that of the mentors in the program. Similarly, we ask that you not share personal information regarding the mentors from this site. This is to keep the Badger Buddies program as an open, but safe, place for mentees and mentors.
- Have fun and build connections. Above all, we hope this program provides new opportunities to meet other postdocs, and to help you make your transition a positive experience.
How To: Tip for Peer Mentors
- Facilitate an open and inclusive meeting. If you have multiple mentees at one or more of your meetings, make sure to facilitate an open, inclusive, and non-offensive dialogue within the group. We have kept the groups small so this task is easily accomplished; however, if you would like advice or help with your meeting, let us know and an experienced postdoc can likely sit down and answer questions you have about how to best facilitate a group.
- Be prepared to lead – share a little about yourself, your field, and your interests outside of UW. Leading with a personalized introduction helps mentees feel comfortable and better formulate their questions. What issues did you face? Was there anything you learned later that you wish you knew from the start? Your specific story could help them open up, or think of new issues that they’d like advice on.
- From the beginning, be clear about what you are willing and able to offer. For example, if you are interested in answering questions by email outside of formal meetings, share that. If you’d like to keep maintain interactions during formal Badger Buddy meeting times, share that too.
- Give us feedback. We are very interested in your experience as a Badger Buddies mentor. If there issues with the website, setting up meetings, finding a meeting space, or anything else you feel is necessary to pass on, please let us know. This program is new, and open to changes that will enhance the experience for everyone.
- You can learn from mentees, too! Ask mentees what they are looking for, what they care about, what they find helpful.
Interested in being a Mentor?
If you’re a UW-Madison postdoc interested in mentoring the next generation of scientists and scholars, consider joining the Badger Buddies program. Please contact co-chair Matthew Warren (email@example.com) to get started.