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In academia, we often think of networking and mentoring activity as a means to an end. Networking and mentoring can be exciting and considered beneficial in helping to produce opportunities for new research projects, collaborative events, and personal/professional development. Alternatively, these practices could be seen as unavoidable for the tenure file or "necessary evils" to satisfy service requirements or some other obligation. Regardless of your view or the external demands placed on your networking and mentoring activity, we find that networking and mentoring can be positive and rewarding if you are able to be a bit creative and devote some thought and energy to these activities. We are able to do this through the organization we created, Women in the Public Sector at John Jay College (WPS). The purpose of this reflection is to prompt you to think creatively about these seemingly mundane professional activities by detailing our networking and mentoring experiences with WPS.


This work was originally published in "Reflections on Academic Lives: Identities, Struggles, and Triumphs in Graduate School and Beyond," edited by Staci M. Zavattaro and Shannon K. Orr.


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