Mentoring Programme

The goal of the mentoring programme is to guide and help the candidates to complete this course and to inspire, invigorate and assist the candidates. By taking practical steps we keep them moving in the direction of becoming data empowered professionals. Based on the candidates’ experiences we assign mentors who will guide and support them to develop the necessary skills and to gain practical project experience. Together they will create a friendly, safe, and confidential environment for communication and informal discussions. The programme lasts six months and goes through four key stages:

  • Stage 1: Getting to know one another and explore areas where the mentee may need support
  • Stage 2: Moving forward in helping the mentee identify their needs and finding the ways in which the mentor can help
  • Stage 3: Developing a mentoring strategy for achieving the set goals
  • Stage 4: Reviewing the progression of the mentoring plan and reflecting on what has been achieved

Through this mentoring programme, we will expose many candidates to data related practices and help them to nurture their interest in applying these practices to their everyday work.

Our mentoring programme aims to be inclusive; we are the antithesis of exclusivity, we believe in active engagement, knowledge acquisition and building skills for future goals and milestones.

Guide

The Mentoring Programme plan will serve as a framework and roadmap to identify its priorities and to designate roles, responsibilities, and criteria for meeting those priorities. The programme plan will provide a systematic process to carry out the mission of providing lifelong, blended learning and developmental opportunities for our candidates.

Broad roles and responsibilities

A good working relationship requires respect, self-awareness, inclusion, open communication and trust.

Mentor

Our mentor motivates their mentees to do their best work and take steps that will help career advancement using data skills. Through discussions a mentor identifies needs, assimilates the mentee into the wider data driven community, and assists them in developing short- and long-term goals. Thanks to being able to give back to the community the mentor benefits from this relationship in the form of personal satisfaction. It enables the mentor to build a legacy of knowledge, gain new insight and experience whilst enhancing visibility and prestige.

A mentor shall provide:

  • Insight, constructive feedback and encouragement
  • A safe environment for taking actions
  • Agreed-upon commitment of time

Mentee

A mentee should be committed to professional growth and should be driven to succeed. A mentee should acknowledge the time and effort that the mentor puts into providing support and establishing a relationship. They can do this by showing a willingness to take the initiative in asking relevant questions, responding to the provided feedback and by seeking new learning opportunities. A mentee benefits from this relationship by acquiring personal education and by gaining exposureand opportunities for advancement within the DS and AI community. In this way a mentee constructs a greater awareness of career and personal capabilities and possibilities.

A mentee should be willing to:

  • Assess his or her individual needs
  • Take the initiative in skill and career development
  • Participate in the mentoring relationship
  • Develop and utilize the skills of professionalism

Establishing the Relationship

Both sides, the mentor and mentee, should consider their intentions and expectations for the relationship before they even meet.

Mentor: first meeting

To prepare for the first meeting, a mentor should:

  • Summarize goals and expectations for the mentoring partnership
  • List two to three topics to discuss with the mentee
  • Consider the logistics of monthly meetings

Some of the questions a mentor can prepare for the first meeting might include:

  • Can you tell me about your background and experience when working with data?
  • What gives you the most satisfaction? Frustration?
  • How do you like to spend your free time?
  • Who do you admire the most or find the most interesting? Why?
  • How do you use your data skills on the job?
  • Which relevant data skills do you want to develop? How can I help?
  • What attracted you to this programme?
  • How often would you like to connect?
  • Six months from now, how would you like to have grown as a result of this mentoring relationship?
  • What one thing can I do to ensure a positive experience for you?
  • What should I expect from you?

Mentee: first meeting

To prepare for the first meeting, a mentee should:

  • Consider goals and expectations for the mentoring partnership
  • Consider the logistics and frequency of meetings
  • Prepare talking points for introductory phone calls

Some of the questions a mentee can prepare for the first meeting might include:

  • Have you had past successes in mentoring individuals?
  • I’m seeking specific “xyz” skills for my professional development. Can you help me attain them?
  • What expectations do you generally have of the people you mentor?
  • How much time can you offer?
  • How can I plan for our next meeting?

The first informational interview/meeting should result in the following outcomes:

  • A decision. Do you want to enter into a mentoring partnership with this person?
  • An answer. Does this person have the knowledge to help you define your goals and turn them into reality?

Follow up meetings

Once the match has been made it is important that both the mentor and mentee take ownership of their participation in the programme and agree on:

  • where and when the subsequent meetings will take place
  • regularity of meetings
  • methods of contact
  • what would be achievable goals and objectives within the time scale of the programme, i.e. what happens next
  • best practice in working towards the agreed aims and objectives

The mentor and mentee will determine the final mix of activities for the programme, but they should include:

  • goal-setting
  • documentation review
  • feedback
  • evaluation and closure

By its very nature, mentoring is rewarding and valuable for both sides involved. The sharing of knowledge, expertise and insight helps to create more motivated and accomplished professionals.

Recognition and reward

To acknowledge the work and effort required from all parties involved in this programme two events are planned. The events will serve to promote and publicise the success of the programme by encouraging both mentors and mentees to talk about their experience and showcase their achievements.

Resources used

This guide is adapted from:

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