Have you previously received help from a mentor in your tech career? Want to contribute back to the community and help mentor the next generation of IT Pros and developers?
Mentoring relationships have long been proven to be hugely impactful throughout many of our professional lives, providing value to both mentees and mentors in more ways than one. No doubt there is a high number of MVPs whose lives and careers have been positively impacted through being mentored by others, or by being a mentor themselves. After all, knowledge sharing and giving back to the community is much of what being an MVP is all about!
In response to the growing need and opportunity for mentorship, especially within the MVP Community, Microsoft’s Diversity and Tech team first launched the Community Mentor Program in 2018. To date, over 1,500 Diversity and Tech members – many of whom are also aspiring MVPs – in more than 80 countries have participated in the program, with many choosing to continue their mentoring relationship long beyond the initial three months of each mentoring cycle.
From April 2018 to June 2019, a total of 471 MVPs applied for the Community Mentors Program – 277 of them expressed their desire to become a mentor, and around 75 found successful mentee matches and officially became mentors in Cycles 1-5.
With the immense popularity of the Community Mentors Program, the Community Mentors Program mobile app was officially launched on July 1, 2019 to meet demand for even more mentoring connections within the community!
Now, MVPs – and everyone else in the Microsoft Diversity and Tech Community – are in the drivers’ seat of their own mentorship journey! The Community Mentors mobile app provides you with a mentoring platform that's available 24/7, all in the palm of your hand! Customize your own profile, share your personal story, choose your preferred mentoring time zone and you’re ready to go!
*NOTE: You will need to be a member of the Microsoft Diversity and Tech Community and use your Tech Community login credentials to access the app. If you are not currently a D&T member, register for FREE via the app, which will prompt you to join our community before you can proceed with setting up your mentorship profile in the mobile app.
For Mentees: Self-select mentors that share similar life experiences and offer perspectives/insights in the technology area or life skill area you’re looking for.
For Mentors: See who has requested to be a mentee and decide if they’ll be a good fit. If you choose to accept, you will then be instantly connected with your mentee via a chat window and you can get started immediately!
Within the Community Mentors Program, life experiences and core skills (sometimes known as
“soft skills”, but we all know they are more than that!) are in just as much demand - if not more - as professional skills. The top professional skills mentees seek guidance on include project and program management, marketing, and technical topics such as cloud deployment, system administration and more. The most popular life experience skills include public speaking, dealing with a difficult boss, navigating a career change and raising one’s visibility at work.
The program even has a Most Valuable Mentor award program, the first of which was recently awarded to Office Apps and Services MVP Stephanie Donahue, President and Co-founder of PAIT Group. She was nominated by her Community Mentors program mentee, Mike Swantek, who said “she helped me become a better consultant and a better leader in general in my practice,” and that Stephanie excelled as a mentor by giving him specific, actionable goals to achieve, such as finally getting started with his blog.
If you have technical, professional, or life-based skills that could benefit a fellow community member, why not sign up as a mentor on the Community Mentors mobile app? You might discover how rewarding it is to be a mentor and help someone in the community, plus mentorship is a recognized contribution category for the MVP Award Program as well – double win! Equally, if there is an area where you would like some external perspective and guidance, why not give the program a go?
Learn more about how to begin your mentorship journey here and let us know what you think!
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