At Intellectual Ventures, we’ve talked extensively about the importance of mentors. From Nathan Myhrvold’s relationship with Steven Hawking to Adriane Brown’s encouragement of mentorship for students everywhere, engaging with role models can unlock incredible opportunities for personal and career growth.

Behind the Breakthrough Answers: The Influence of Mentors

Adriane Brown speaks with students in Washington, D.C., about pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).

It comes as no surprise that our Behind the Breakthrough participants also repeatedly emphasize how mentors shaped them into the people they are today. Here are some of their thoughts:

“My father is an engineer and my uncle was a biochemistry professor. Without their guidance, I don’t know that I would have pursued a career in science and engineering. Everything came together during my second year of college when my professor asked me to work on a telecommunications project. I doubt I would be in this field without that initial introduction and mentoring. It goes to show that people who take you under their wing can make all the difference.”

David Paranchych, Engineering Director and expert in the field of cellular wireless communication

“In addition to my research, I’ve also become a manager/supervisor/mentor on the HIV and TB teams, helping to guide different research questions. I look back on the great mentors I have had throughout my scientific career for ideas about how to support and motivate team members.”

Anna Bershteyn, Senior Research Manager at the Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM)

“Mr. Macky was my high school math teacher. I’m positive he didn’t like me since I was kind of a troublemaker back then. Anyway, one day he says to my mother, ‘Tola could be a lot of things, but he has a strong mathematical nature. If he doesn’t choose a career that will allow him to scratch that itch he will be unhappy.’ Up until that point, I was sure I was going to be theatre major in college, but Mr. Macky’s opinion started to make me think about going into engineering. He helped provide clarity to my career path and it was the best investment I ever made.”

Tola Marts, Engineering Manager in the Devices Platform Group (DPG)

 

Want to hear more from these impressive inventors? Check out our original profiles of Dave, Anna, and Tola. And don’t forget to follow the rest of our Behind the Breakthrough series by subscribing to our IV Insights blog and following our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.


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