Our industry mentors support students who don’t have personal ties to anyone in tech by sharing their experiences in industry, giving insight into the job hunt and interviewing processes, and discussing what the day-to-day is like at a tech company. This volunteer role usually only occupies a couple hours a month and is more about social/emotional support than academics. Industry mentors are generally engineers, but we’ve also had awesome industry mentors who are technical product/program managers, team leads, or other closely tech-adjacent roles.
Industry mentors support students with coffee meet-ups, phone chats, or emailing. Each pair will develop their own cadence, but we ask that pairs communicate at least once a month. Officially, the industry mentorship program lasts for the duration of the classroom portion of Ada (six months), but some pairs develop a strong relationship and may choose to stay in contact throughout internship.
To become an Industry Mentor, please fill out this brief volunteer application or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions.
Your role will be to:
- know your audience is a group of women and gender diverse folks who are new to coding--students began their cohort with very little to no experience coding; Ada provides them with 7 months of intensive classroom experience in Ruby, Rails, HTML/CSS, and JS followed by a 5 month industry internship; please define terms, do not assume that they know something already, and do not refer to concepts as something that "programmers should already know", as something that "you can't get a job if you don't understand", or as “easy”. Things that are easy to you may be difficult to someone else, and trivializing them trivializes a person who struggles with them.
- work with students who self-identify as non-Tech Adjacent, meaning they do not have any connections to the Tech Industry (partner, family, friends who are programmers)
- encourage and support students on their journey to being professional software developers
- create openness in the relationship so students feel they can ask the questions about concepts they be struggling with during normal class time.
- field questions about the industry and daily life; your role is NOT to be the Adie's primary Tutor, though you may assist in this way if you like.
Your knowledge and expertise as a seasoned programmer is invaluable to our students. Remember that our students are completely new to coding and that your support and guidance will help them achieve quicker and with more success!
What to expect
- At Ada we have realize that those who are tech adjacent (those with partners, friends or family in the tech industry) have a leg up at Ada because they have someone to talk to about technical concepts, how the industry works, and various other industry specific topics. Giving those who are not Tech Adjacent an industry mentor is a way of closing that gap. As an industry mentor we expect you to be a confidant and technical friend to those students who may not have as much exposure to the technical community.
- Expect to be asked specific questions regarding industry and possibly the Ada curriculum.
- To build a trusting relationship with your mentee we ask that you set up at least two face-to-face meetings over coffee and your laptops. Those initial meetings should be used to set expectations, and give the mentor insight into their mentee’s strengths and needs. Follow up meeting(s) will mostly take place electronically, but industry mentors are more than welcome to visit their mentee’s during our daily TA’ing hour between 1:30-5:00 M-F.
Tips for being a Rockstar Industry Mentor
- Be conscious and aware of the social situations that attribute to the disparity and circumstances of those who are tech adjacent and those who aren’t.
- Be available to answer emails/text and return phone calls within 48 hours.
- Be more available during your mentee’s capstone weeks and internship spike.
- Work to create an open and trusting mentor and mentee relationship