IxDA Mentorship Program - We Need Mentors!

21 Sep 2009 - 8:52am
4 years ago
6 replies
1097 reads
jkolko
2010

Hi,

The IxDA Mentorship program needs your help. We have 150 mentees, but
only 53 mentors. Can you donate some of your time to helping others
learn about the IxDA profession and grow as designers?

Visit http://www.ixda.org/mentor.php to sign up, and we'll do our
best to match you asap..

Thanks,
Jon

Comments

21 Sep 2009 - 9:32am
fritzism
2009

Hey Jon, just briefly is there anyway to define a bit more (bullet
points) what the requirements to a) be a mentor are as in years of
experience, project types handled, project sizes handled, education,
etc. and b) what would the time commitment look like?

Speaking personally (although I don't think I'm at the mentor
level) this would help clarify and define things more IMHO for folks
trying to make the determination as well as to help mentees match
their need to someone with that level of expertise.

Just my .02 - Fritz

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45851

21 Sep 2009 - 11:11am
ldebett
2004

Hi Jon,

I don't want to sound negative as I think this is a great opportunity for
all kinds of folks in the industry and totally support it. However,
honestly, I had a negative reaction to the "Call for Mentors" description on
the site, instead of being intrigued or enticed by it. A higher percentage
of real estate on the page is used for text warning people about the demands
of program than selling them on it:

However, acting as a mentor requires a large amount of time and dedication;
> you'll need to meet with your mentee at least once a week (on the phone, in
> person, or via chat) and help them set - and achieve - goals. Consider if
> you actually have the time to dedicate to this before volunteering, as
> there's nothing more disappointing than a fly-by-night mentor.
>

IMHO, it seems the commitment level IxDA is expecting - and using as a lure
to get people into the program - could simply be too much for
high-performing, busy, time-limited, experienced professionals in this
field. Meet real-time at least once a week? What about something that's a
bit more flexible for a budding relationship like "initially expected to
meet by phone or in person once a week for a month (or whatever to get to
know each other), subsequently then at least once every two weeks, and
adjusting your schedules based on mutual needs and agreements. You should be
available regularly by email."

I also think you should have more information on the site about the kinds of
things mentees are looking for advice on (career, tools, process, methods,
etc.). That would be helpful as well.

Thanks,
Lisa
IxDA Boston chapter chair

On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 2:52 AM, Jon Kolko <jkolko at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> The IxDA Mentorship program needs your help. We have 150 mentees, but
> only 53 mentors. Can you donate some of your time to helping others
> learn about the IxDA profession and grow as designers?
>
> Visit http://www.ixda.org/mentor.php to sign up, and we'll do our
> best to match you asap..
>
> Thanks,
> Jon
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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>

21 Sep 2009 - 11:43am
Meredith Noble
2010

I tend to agree with Lisa -- once a week is daunting given my current
commitments!

What we did in Toronto was say that it's a negotiation between
mentor and mentee -- some mentees will want a lot of meetings, others
will be content to chat every month or so. As long as everyone states
their expectations and availability up front, then all is well.

Meredith
IxDA Toronto Co-Coordinator

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45851

22 Sep 2009 - 1:03am
Kaleem
2008

Jon, mentorship has been a hot topic in Toronto for some years now and
the IxDA's efforts are a good addition to the activity we have
already had.

I have mentored and continue to mentor several practitioners on an
informal basis. A structured program is welcome but I think the
requirements cause many to self-select out of volunteering, as Lisa
and Meredith have mentioned.

I had a good conversation with Andrew Hinton while he was in town
last week about mentorship (among other things). It helped clarify
some of my thinking, as our too-rare conversations always do.

I'd be glad to share my perspective and work on this with you and
Jeremy, as he suggested some time ago.

-K

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45851

22 Sep 2009 - 7:49am
Jacqueline Caddle
2009

As someone who's among the list of mentees, even I have to echo
Lisa's comments. The requirements for mentoring may very well be
what's created this skewed mentor/mentee ratio. Even I don't have
time to meet up offline once a week (not unless that person lived
and/or worked in my neck of the woods.)

It'd be ideal to let individuals set their own minimal requirements,
expectations, etc.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45851

22 Sep 2009 - 3:11pm
Meredith Noble
2010

I would also note my personal experience in Toronto -- where people I
knew had TONS to teach to others still felt insecure about what they
could bring to the table as a mentor. I had to do a lot of convincing
to get people for our mentorship speed dating night.

I think people who came to UX later in their careers particularly
felt this. I had to explain that their professional experience BEFORE
UX could be just as valuable to a mentee as years and years of UX
experience. They bring different perspectives to the table.

Fritz, I don't know anything about you, but as long as this isn't
your first week out of university, I bet there is someone else with
less experience than you in a certain area, who could benefit from
your past experiences.

In fact, in Toronto, we talked about the fact that peer mentorships
(two people of similar years of experience) could be just as valuable
as traditional senior/junior arrangements.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45851

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