The main responsibility of a mentor is to help your team work the best way they can. This means helping them refine their Agile workflow and project structure. You are not their project manager or code reviewer, but rather their coach. The goal is to give them the same sort of pointers you would to someone who is new in the office.
The ideas that Practicum teams are working on are in their infancy and need to be tweaked. As the most experienced member in any meeting, your thoughts will have significant weight, and teams need your help to ensure that they are headed in the right direction. Mentors will help steer the team to developing a product that will change the world for the better.
Have a topic that interests you? Mentors are encouraged to present at one of our “all hands” meetings. You can talk about anything from Machine Learning to your favorite IDE. The topic of your talk doesn’t matter, just that you are passionate about it. These presentations can be as long as you wish and will be incredibly informative for our interns.
Practicum interns come from a variety of backgrounds and educations, but all have a shared passion for technology. If you have a particular interest, it is likely that one of our interns also cares about that topic. These presentations are a way for you to show our team what makes you tick.
Practicum interns are in the same position that you were at one point. For these students, even the smallest tip could prove to be invaluable, and your mentees will look up to you as a role model.
The connection that you form with your mentees is much deeper than any 30-minute cold-call or networking talk. Working together in an industry setting will give better insight to the people you help and have an impact on both you and the interns.
Throughout a Practicum project, you will spend time alongside intelligent, driven students who may become your coworkers in the next few years. These students are the next generation of engineers, and it could always be beneficial to know another hard-working engineer or designer.
Another perk of being a mentor is the ability to connect with the other mentors. You can opt into Mentor Networking events to build relationships with other young professionals working in tech who love to give back.