Commonwealth Alumnus Meenakshi Shukla joined the Mentoring Programme in 2020-2021 as a Mentor. She was paired with a Commonwealth Scholar from Ghana.
Meenakshi has expertise in the field of psychology and supported her Mentee in developing short and long-term goals both during and post-Scholarship.
Supporting my Mentee during COVID-19 lockdown
This mentorship experience has been really rewarding and mutually fulfilling for me. During my mentorship, my Mentee had to stay alone in the UK because of the COVID-19 lockdown. He shared his challenges with me and I ensured my availability on video call, voice call, WhatsApp, and email communication whenever he needed support or a listening ear. Once he felt more settled, we discussed some academic goals so that he could use his time well. He too has motivated me and uplifted my spirits whenever I feel I am not doing as much as I could in my field.
Post-Scholarship support: exploring opportunities for further studies
Collaborating to produce research papers in the field of child psychology
We are currently working on 2-3 papers that combine both his and my research interests. We have successfully co-authored a paper presenting a systematic review of interventions for children with learning disabilities and their parents. This paper is under review with a reputed journal. We have also submitted a proposal for a book chapter and are awaiting the editors’ response. We are exploring the early risk factors leading to later development of hypertension among children.
Supporting one another to achieve professional development
Because of working together on research studies and papers, we keep in constant contact to discuss challenges and offer or brainstorm together any solutions. We are growing academically and learning from one another. We inform one another about workshops, seminars, and professional development opportunities that could help us learn new skills. Next, we plan to learn how to write grant proposals and will then try to secure research grants.
All of this would not have been possible if the CSC hadn’t created this Mentorship Programme. I am really grateful to the CSC for this opportunity.
Meenakshi Shukla is a 2016 Commonwealth Split-site Scholar from India. She completed her PhD in Psychology from King’s College London and Banaras Hindu University, India.