Mentoring Programme CAMINO

The CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) launches CAMINO (CAreer Mentoring Initiative for New Opportunities) for early stage researches (commonly known as PhD students*) interested in opening their career horizons. CAMINO is developed taking REBECA programme, developed by the FECYT, as a starting point.

Researchers’ careers are versatile and diverse, and their competences and skills are very useful in different positions and sectors. However, early stage researchers do not always have enough information or contacts to access these options, or even consider them.

CAMINO programme has been conceived to broaden our researchers’ professional environments and outcomes, as well as to provide them with a wide variety of networking options and services inside and outside of academia. Through CAMINO they can benefit from the experience, contacts and skills of professionals who will help guide them to new opportunities within their professional careers.

For 6 months, CAMINO will pair up early stage researchers with professionals working for business organizations or public administration. The participants (mentees and mentors) will receive initial online mentoring training.

Each pair will decide freely the language in which they prefer to have their meetings.

CAMINO is completely voluntary for both mentees and mentors and will be carried on virtually while the training and the mentor/mentee meetings will be organized preferably virtually. CAMINO programme will be based on active listening and empathy, in a climate of trust within a framework of respect and confidentiality.

*Phd Students are not actually students, and they should therefore not be referred to as that.

What is mentoring?

  • Mentoring is a two-way relationship: both parties must be committed and listen to each other so that the process is beneficial for both parties.
  • Mentoring consists of sharing experiences, knowledge and advice: the mentee is not a student, but also a professional, and the mentor is not a talent hunter, although he can provide support for the job search.
  • Mentoring is a guided path of self-understanding / self-awareness / self-knowledge where mentees analyse their strengths and weaknesses and achieve personal and professional growth.
  • Mentors can guide and accompany you in this process, but they are not professional trainers or psychotherapists.
  • Open and continuous dialogue within the mentor-mentee couple is the main tool in mentoring.
  • CAMINO aims to help you open your professional horizons beyond a teaching or research career, but it is not designed to find you a job.

Personal career plan

We hope that participating in a mentoring program is a great opportunity, particularly for mentees. To get the most out of this experience, we suggest that you work on defining a personal career plan early in the process and use it to guide meetings with your mentors.

This plan can be the roadmap that should take you to the goal you want to achieve: you need to define where you want to go, what you need to get there, and how you are going to achieve it.