SOLVED

Community Mentors Program: FAQs

Highlighted
Microsoft

<Updated as of June 23, 2020>

 

Ready to download the Community Mentors mobile app?

Important Note: Make sure you're on the latest version to get access to all the newest features.

 

Click to download on iOS and Android, or simply scan the QR codes below!

 

Instructions:

Step 1: Sign up for Microsoft’s Humans of IT Community

Step 2: Download app 

Step 3: Use your HoIT login credentials to login to the Community Mentors App. Note: In the field that says "Enter Your Community Name", please fill in "Microsoft Humans of IT".

 Scan these QR codes to get the direct link to download our Community Mentors mobile app!Scan these QR codes to get the direct link to download our Community Mentors mobile app!

 

--

 

Thanks everyone for your interest in the Community Mentors Program! As you know, a big part about mentorship is about the fit - that is why we've launched the Community Mentors mobile app so that you're in the driver's seat of your own mentorship journey.

 

Here are answers to some of the top questions we get about the program - this will help provide additional clarity around the program, what to expect etc. We'll also be adding to this list when we see more of specific questions coming up. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have additional questions that you don't see in the list. Thanks!

 

Q: What is this program about, anyway?

A: The Community Mentors Program aims to help give underrepresented communities a boost in the tech industry through mentorship programs geared at enabling people from diverse backgrounds – women, people of color, minorities, LGBTQ+ and differently-abled professionals – to find tech mentors with various skillsets that can help them navigate the path to pursuing or exceling in technical careers. It is 100% open to the public, and is free to join as long as you're a registered member of the Humans of IT community. Caveat: Getting a mentor is a privilege, not a right - It's a wonderful opportunity to have someone kind and generous enough to be willing to spend their valuable time, energy and resources on you. Demanding to have a mentor/mentee matched to you 1) does not work, and 2) simply demonstrates a poor attitude on your part. The onus is on you to reach out to potential mentors on the platform, share your goals + intended outcomes of the mentorship, and respectfully ask if they would be willing to mentor you. Think about what you would bring to the table as well. There has to be a right fit, and we trust that you understand this concept, too.  

 

Q: Will I be matched with a mentor/mentee?

A: No - you are in the driver's seat of your mentoring journey and can select the mentors YOU want. As an effective mentoring relationship hinges heavily on a good fit, we encourage you to read through all the mentors' profiles and personal story to see if it would be a good match. In the app, you get to request the mentors you want, instead of having someone match you with a stranger. For mentees especially, it helps when you are descriptive in your goals/outcomes in your profile before you hit the "Request Mentorship" button. Do also provide more details on the specific help/mentoring topic that you are interested in. For example, someone who simply types "I want someone to help me in my career", or "I need training" is not going to be able to find a good mentor match as the listed goals are too vague. We encourage applicants to be thoughtful and focused about what they are looking for in order to get the best possible experience and learning from this program. Spend some time building up a solid personal story and profile - it'll be worth it!

 

Q: I see someone on the platform who is requesting for mentorship on skillsets that I have. Can I offer to mentor that person?

A: Yes, absolutely! As of June 2020, we have launched a new feature where mentors can now offer to mentor a community member via the "Offer Mentorship" button. This triggers a notification to the user who will then review and determine whether they would like to accept your kind offer to mentor them. This will certainly help folks who tend to be more shy in making the first move to proactively request mentorship.

 

Q: How long does each mentorship cycle run for?

A: Each initial mentorship cycle runs for 30 days, and can be extended twice up to an additional 60 days, making it a minimum of one month and maximum of three months total. After the three months have passed, mentors/mentees can decide if they want to continue the mentoring relationship on their own, at their own pace and cadence, or if they wish to politely end the mentoring relationship. Whatever the decision, remember that it's nothing personal -  there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to find other mentors/mentees to continue learning and growing. Wish each other well, and keep moving forward! For mentors - you can have up to five active mentees at any time. Same for mentees - you can have up to five active mentorships at any given time. This ensures that you have enough bandwidth and focus in order to get value from your mentorship. 

 

Q: The default is that mentors have 5 open spots for mentees at any one time. I'm currently going through a busy season at work - can I just keep 1 or 2 spots open instead of 5?

A: Yes, you can! We have a slider feature in your profile page where you can easily adjust the number of mentees you're willing to support at any one time. If you need a break from mentoring, you can move the slider down to 0. If you want to have just 1-2 mentees, that's fine too - simply adjust the slider accordingly!

 

Q: OK, I'm interested! How do I join the Community Mentors platform?

A: There is an easy 5-step process to explain how the flow works:

Step 1: Download the app by typing "Tribute" in either the Apple app store (for iOS users), or Google Play store (for Android users), or simply scan the QR codes above!

Step 2: Log in with your Microsoft Humans of IT / Tech Community account credentials. If you don't have one yet, create an account for free - the app will redirect you to our page to sign up!

Step 3: Set up your profile with your personal story, skills, life experiences and don't forget to upload a photo! It makes your profile look that much more "human" :)

Step 4: Click "Discover" to find mentors in your time zone!

Step 5: Find a mentor profile you like, and click "Request Mentorship". Once your mentor accepts, a chat window will open and you can both connect instantly! If your desired mentor declines or does not have the bandwidth, keep searching - there are thousands of mentors on our platform! 

 

Q: Will I be able to meet up with my mentor/mentee in person?

A: The beauty of this program is that it is 100% global, and aims to allow for knowledge transfer and mentoring across borders. Many mentors/mentees leverage Microsoft Teams and other free VoiP call methods to communicate for their mentoring sessions. It's amazing to see people connect with each other from Australia to Algeria, Kenya to Kazakhstan, Peru to Pakistan and more - a big part about global inclusion is learning how to work with someone from a different socio-cultural background from you, and learning from your unique worldview. Most mentoring relationships via the app will be remote, unless you're fortunate enough to find one in your area! If you are only looking for in-person mentoring, you may wish to consider other local mentoring programs in your area, or large-scale movements such as the Million Women Mentors program that allows you to search for mentors in your area by zip code. These programs may better suit your needs. Have an open mind, and you will be surprised by how much you will learn!

 

Q: I'm a mentor - is there any way for me to network and exchange ideas or best practices with other Community Mentors Program mentors so we can better help our mentees?

A: Yes - We recommend mentors share their best practices and tips right here on the Community Mentors Program space on the Humans of IT community!

 

Q: My mentee started the chat, but subsequently became unresponsive - what should I do?

A: If you've made reasonable attempts to reach your mentee and schedule time for mentoring syncs but have not heard back after at least two weeks, please DM us and we will contact the mentee to see if he/she/they are still interested. Sometimes they might have missed the notification alert! If they continue to be unresponsive, click "End Mentorship" and that will free up your space for a new and hopefully better engaged mentee!

 

Q: Will this mentorship program enable me get a job at XYZ Tech Company?

A: While this program aims to help people learn more about technical specializations and get mentorship about how to focus on their career goals when pursing a technical role, it does not guarantee that you will be able to find a job in a specific company or organization. This is not a recruitment site/opportunity. Finding a job still depends on your level of expertise, fit with the organization, networking contacts to help you uncover career opportunities and so on. In other words, it's very much dependent on YOU!

 

Q: Will my mentor be able to train me on technical skills?

A: While most of our mentors are technical experts with many years of domain expertise in their area of specialization, mentoring is not the same as technical training or coaching. If you're simply looking to ramp up on a certain technology, we recommend that you look into signing up for training courses in your country, on the Microsoft Tech Academy or the many Microsoft Certification programs available instead. You can learn more about the difference between training/coaching/managing as opposed to mentoring in our Treehouse Mentoring video that will be released shortly. This is also a great article to refer to. 

 

Q: I want to become an MVP / build status to maintain my MVP award. Does being a Community Mentors Program mentor count as community involvement?

A: Yes, mentorship is a recognized contribution category towards the MVP Award program. Double win! Reach out to your Community Program Manager (CPM) if you have questions on how to submit proof of mentorship activity. 

 

Q: I'm only looking for mentoring in public speaking skills as I aspire to become a speaker at a tech conference in future. Who should I contact?

A: If you're specifically looking for mentoring on public speaking skills, one of our Microsoft Valued Professionals (MVPs) Alex Yates in the U.K and his team runs an awesome mentorship group called Speaking Mentors which you can apply to and connect with someone in the mentoring circle. We highly recommend checking it out! 

 

Again, thanks everyone for your interest and participation! We hope everyone will get the opportunity to learn and connect with other IT Pros / aspiring IT Pros like yourselves around the world, and help build a kinder, more inclusive tech industry for all. 

7 Replies
Highlighted
Best Response confirmed by Deleted
Solution
Hello,
Thanks for the explanation..
I tried typing 'tribute' but couldn't see it on play store.. please help me out
Highlighted
Hi @samson2ky, try this direct download link: https://aka.ms/communitymentorsANDROID :)
Highlighted
Hi,
how can I become a mentor? what are the requirements (if any)?
Highlighted
Hi there - anyone can be a mentor as long as they have a personal passion to help others and any skillset (technical or non-technical) to offer! All you have to do is to sign up on the platform and check the box that indicates you want to be a mentor. Note: You can be BOTH a mentee and a mentor as well - just check both those boxes if that's you :)

Note that in the mentorship app we DO NOT do automatic pairings. Folks who wish to be mentored by you will reach out to you directly via the "Request Mentorship" button after reading your profile, so it's best to make your profile + story as detailed as possible so that people know what skills you have to offer as a mentor. Hope this clarifies and see you on the platform! :)
Highlighted
Thank you very much, appreciate it :)
Highlighted

@ShonaBang hello! Who can join this mentorship program? Is this open to anyone? Thank you!

Highlighted
Hi Hannah, yes it is open to anyone! :) Simply download the app, create your profile and you're good to go!