From Mentorship to Success: A Tapestry of Experiences in the IEEE EMBS Student Mentoring Program

From Mentorship to Success: A Tapestry of Experiences in the IEEE EMBS Student Mentoring Program 150 150 IEEE Pulse
Author(s): Nyi Nyi Tun, Bryan Aleman, and Sayda Huacre

Unveiling the powerful voices of mentors, mentees, and volunteers in the IEEE EMBS Student Mentoring Program

The IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (EMBS) Student Mentoring Program (SMP) is an annual series of events that aim to provide a support network for students to connect with experienced professionals who align with their interests around the world. The program is an initiative run by the Professional Development Portfolio as a subcommittee of the IEEE EMBS Student Activities Committee (SAC). The program involves mentoring from different fields of BME that will last six months. The program aims to create mentoring partnerships between students and professionals from around the world to share experiences and achieve personal or academic goals. A comprehensive review of the program can be found here [1].

In line with our commitment to gender equality and the cherished values of IEEE, we took care to ensure an equal representation of both male and female participants during the selection process. This program warmly welcomes students at all academic levels, ranging from undergraduate to Ph.D. studies. In the previous edition, we were delighted to witness the program’s impact as mentees and mentors achieved their goals within a mere six months and we asked them to share their perspectives here. If you are interested to join us, we look forward to welcoming you into our supportive community, where growth and learning thrive.


For mentees, being part of the program can be an excellent way to grow personally and professionally within society. The program can help support professional development, further develop a specific skill set or competency and expand your professional network. But most importantly, it is the opportunity to listen and share knowledge and experiences with professionals from around the world, allowing participants to see things from a bigger perspective.

To apply as a mentee, an application form must be completed and submitted via the IEEE EMBS website. It is important that candidates have a clear understanding of the program objectives and requirements, and provide detailed information about their experience, interests, and career goals. Applicants are then evaluated on a variety of factors, such as their academic record, research experience, leadership experience, and ability to work in a team, as well as by a videoconference interview with the assigned program mentor. The mentee selection committee reviews all applications and selects candidates who best fit the objectives and needs of the program.


On the other hand, mentors can discover new talent, provide continuous support for their own professional development, and build their professional network. Mentoring can also enhance your coaching, leadership, and management skills. Mentoring is an excellent way to expose yourself to a diverse group of people who offer different points of view and, at the same time, help others to grow and develop.

Mentors should apply through the IEEE EMBS website and provide detailed information about their experience, skills, and knowledge in their field. It is important that mentors have the ability to communicate clearly and share their knowledge and experience effectively with mentees. Candidates are also evaluated on their academic record, research experience, and leadership and teamwork skills. The mentor selection committee then reviews all applications and selects mentors who best fit the needs and objectives of the program, and who are willing to engage with mentees to provide guidance and support.

It is important to note that, for both mentees and mentors, the success of the program depends largely on the dedication and commitment of each mentee. It is necessary to have a positive attitude, be willing to learn and share, and be proactive in seeking solutions and opportunities. In addition, regular and transparent communication between mentee and mentor is essential to achieve the mentoring objectives.
Now, let’s find out what happened in last year’s edition by looking at the highlights below.

Testimonials from mentees

Mentees Shaikhah Alkhadhr, Derya Z. Tansel, and Paul Kimani Kanyutu, participants of the IEEE EMBS 2022 SMP, tell us that it was a diverse and enriching experience in which they get to increase professional outreach, improve communication skills, network, and feel part of a community.

They highlight the importance of the skills acquired thanks to their mentor. In particular, the importance of having a mentor with experience in both academia and industry, which has allowed them to learn from the experiences of other students and gain a more complete knowledge of the BME field.

Furthermore, they emphasize the importance of the project-based approach in the SMP, as they were able to apply their knowledge and skills in a practical way. This allowed them to gain a deeper understanding of the application of technology in the medical field and gave them valuable experience in solving real problems.

In addition, they mention that the projects were challenging and required time and dedication; however, the mentor’s mentoring and constant communication allowed them to overcome obstacles and achieve a successful outcome. The importance of communication was highlighted as a key factor in overcoming time differences and coordinating agendas, which is essential in any collaborative project.

Finally, they mention that they learned about the importance of having a strong curriculum vitae for future job applications and the use of social media, which has allowed them to communicate their work effectively and reach a wider audience. They also highlight that the SMP has provided them not only with a mentor, but also with valuable friends and contacts for life.

Mentor testimonial

Bjørn-Jostein Singstad, an experienced SMP mentor, shared his experience from 2022. The mentor had the opportunity to work with three highly motivated and talented students. Therefore, he had high expectations for the production of papers and other projects together, on the basis of which his mentees selected an individual project each consisting of using deep neural networks to analyze biomedical data. All three projects produced significant results and were accepted at the most prestigious research conferences. In addition, two of the projects were published as proceeding papers, underlining the quality of the work that has been done.

As a mentor, Singstad, says that to foster communication between program participants, he used a variety of digital tools, including the use of Slack for all participants. This facilitated collaboration between the mentor and his mentees and, in turn, allowed them to share achievements and ask for help from their peers.

Singstad’s experience shows the importance of the SMP in the development of technical and scientific skills in students around the world. It also highlights the vital role of mentors in guiding and supporting students in their search for innovative solutions to challenges in the field of BME.

Volunteer’s testimonial

Tony Adel Fawzy’s testimony about his experience as an ambassador of the SMP 2022 program is very enriching. He tells us about his enthusiasm and satisfaction for having participated in this program as a volunteer, as it allowed him to communicate and meet with people from different parts of the world and establish meaningful connections with them.

Being an ambassador, according to Tony, is an excellent opportunity for IEEE EMBS student members to grow personally and professionally within the society. The SMP can help support professional development, further develop a specific skill set or competency, and expand their professional network. However, the most valuable aspect is simply participating in SMP meetings together with mentees and mentors and enriching knowledge and experiences with professionals from all over the world.

In summary, the SMP presents a valuable opportunity for students and professionals alike within the bioengineering and medical industry. Testimonials from mentors, mentees, and ambassadors resound with the transformative impact of this partnership on personal and professional growth, making it a truly rewarding experience for all involved. The accomplishments of the 2022 edition, realized through the diligent efforts of the IEEE EMBS SAC, align closely with the mission and core values of IEEE. Beyond the realm of career advancement and opportunities, participating in the IEEE EMBS SMP fosters the development of soft skills, cultivates a global community, and expands social networks for both mentees and mentors. If you are intrigued by this unique and enriching opportunity, we warmly encourage you to explore further. Interested EMBS members can obtain more information about the program by reaching out to Embrace this chance to embark on a journey of growth and meaningful connections within the IEEE EMBS SMP.


  1. N. N. Tun and B. Aleman, “Fostering future professionals: A review of the IEEE EMBS student mentoring program,” IEEE Pulse, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 29–34, Mar./Apr. 2023, doi: 10.1109/MPULS.2023.3269783.