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How Speed Mentoring in Radiation Oncology Fostered A Long-Term Professional and Personal Friendship

By Mel Kauffman

Every year at its annual meeting, SROA hosts an event for prospective mentors and mentees to meet and get “matched.” In 2019, SROA hosted a “speed mentoring” event. In 2020, the event was virtual.

The speed mentoring process is simple:

  1. You sign up as a mentor or a mentee prior to the session.
  2. At the speed mentoring event, you meet with each person for 3 minutes to learn more about each other (like speed mentoring).
  3. You rank your selections at the end and hopefully get matched with a fellow member.

The SROA Mentor Match program is a fantastic way engage with peers. The program offers members unique networking and career development tools that help you connect, share experiences and get advice on specific problems. And since the program is virtual, you can connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime!

Tonya Terry and Debra Corbin talked about their mentor-mentee experience on SROA Soundboard, SROA’s podcast for radiation oncology administrators. Terry and Corbin were “matched” at the speed mentoring program during SROA’s 2019 Annual Meeting.

Terry joined as a mentee in hopes of finding a mentor to help with her transition from a chief therapist to an administrator. Corbin said that with “over 30 years of experience, she joined as a mentor to add value to new administrators in radiation oncology.”

They decided to meet once a month, Terry would come up with the topic or bring a current challenge to discuss with Corbin. Terry expressed how much she has benefitted from the program, “just by being able to speak with someone once a month, to gather knowledge or brainstorm ideas with.” She felt confident knowing that Corbin was in her corner, supporting her when she needed it. Terry also feels that being able to reach out an experienced administrator who understands the position and can help her navigate through situations is priceless.

As a mentor Corbin feels that the relationship was mutually beneficial. Corbin acknowledged she also learned a lot and that the mentorship allowed her to share her own challenges with Terry. “One of the best parts of the SROA Mentor Match Program is that it is a safe space to express your feelings, challenges, and not worry about being judged,” Corbin said.

Both agreed that the mentor-mentee relationship allowed them to feel like they weren’t on a island alone but together, helping each other and having someone to lean on. They plan to continue their mentorship relationship. And they appreciate the long-lasting friendship that all started with speed mentoring.

Members don’t have to wait until 2021’s speed mentoring event to get involved. Sign up as a mentor or mentee today!
Listen to the entire podcast to hear more about their Mentorship


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Have you participated in the SROA Mentor Match program? We'd love to hear about your experience with the program.



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