Kickoff event, with speed mentoring activity. Kickoff events have approximately 120 students and mentors in total attending. The event begins with mentors and mentees meeting, enjoying some light refreshments, and doing some informal networking.
Following these introductions, students and mentors take part in speed mentoring, a structured 1 hour exercise where small groups of industry mentors rotate through groups of students at timed intervals, discussing various careers-related topics. Within a short period of time, students are able to meet several industry mentors, and learn about their respective career paths and some of their career tips for students. Before leaving, mentors and mentees share contact information and set up times for their first post-kickoff meeting.
Students setting and submitting careers-related learning objectives (deadline within a few weeks of kickoff event). Setting these helps students focus, take initiative, and have something specific to work towards with their senior student or industry mentors. Examples of possible student learning objectives include:
- identifying their strengths and how these might fit within the IT industry
- starting or enhancing a personal technical project
- improving technical interview skills
- investigating clubs or extracurricular activities to join
- writing an effective resume or LinkedIn profile
- strenghtening networking and communication skills.
Individual in-person meetings with the industry or senior student mentor, at least once every few months (the first meeting is ideally prior to the student's submission of their program learning objectives). At these meetings students receive help in setting their goals, share their progress or challenges in working towards these, and get their mentor’s insights and opinions regarding career questions students might have. Students actively seek ways to be of benefit to their mentor during these meetings as well.
Ideas for activities mentors and students can do together are available here.
Tri-mentoring program wrap up celebration (held in late March). This event typically begins with an industry panel, followed by a casual reception. Mentors and students celebrate their progress over the course of the program, and network with other participants. The CS tri-mentoring program has three different kickoff events, each with 100+ participants. The wrap up event is the one time during the program cycle when mentor and student participants from all of the different kickoff cohorts have a chance to interact together.
Additional, optional tri-mentoring events for students and mentors in past year have also included small group technical interview skills practice sessions, or personal project feedback sessions.