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Ginny Herbert and Iratxe Puebla

Enlightening Perspectives: Views From the SSP Mentorship Program is designed to share personal stories from both mentors and mentees at the front lines of the SSP mentorship and fellowship programs to inform, inspire, and entertain.


Mentee Perspective

Ginny Herbert, Assistant Editor, Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association

I started and scrapped my SSP Mentorship Program application at least five times. For weeks, I’d type my responses to the application questions, reread my writing, and ultimately close out of the browser thinking that I sounded too green to even apply. It wasn’t until the night that the application was due that I convinced myself to complete it.

Though the mentorship program and my relationship with my brilliant mentor, Iratxe, were multitudinously beneficial, the most transformational aspect was Iratxe’s impact on my confidence. Iratxe is incredibly encouraging, constantly pressing me to seek out public speaking opportunities, ask more questions, and initiate conversations at networking events. During our initial meetings, I thought that these recommendations were a bit aspirational. Public speaking might be a great skill, but I hardly believed that I had anything to say that a group of people actually wanted to hear. Nevertheless, Iratxe was relentless in pushing me to become more professionally assertive, and her persistence forced me to confront my limiting beliefs. Now, almost a year later, I can point to numerous opportunities that I’ve pursued that I wouldn’t have been emboldened to try before meeting her.

If you’re a younger member of the publishing community interested in the mentorship program but unsure of whether it’s in your league, I’d urge you to apply anyway. If I hadn’t done so, I’d probably still be filling out the same applications repeatedly, too unsure of myself to finish them. Thanks to Iratxe, now I just click submit.


Mentor Perspective

Iratxe Puebla, Senior Managing Editor, PLOS ONEĀ 

Participating in the mentoring program has been a fantastic experience. I enjoyed building the relationship with Ginny and discussing different publishing models and publishing culture in different disciplines with her, I have certainly expanded my perspective in research disciplines I am usually less exposed to as part of my work.

Discussing professional development options as part of this program has helped me gain a more structured approach to professional development opportunities within publishing, and also beyond.

I enjoyed volunteering as part of this program and on the back of this positive experience I joined a local organization that supports women in science and engineering and I am currently working to help them develop their own mentoring program.