(Scroll down to see everyone!)
Sr Interaction Designer
Mercedes-Benz R&D, North America
Sr Manager, Product & UX Design
Associate Product Designer
Experience Designer, AR & VR
Infosys Center for Emerging Technologies
Lead UX Designer
CcHUB Design Lab
One Acre Fund
While we know you understand how the mentoring works, it never hurts to clarify our expectations for each other. Here are the main things to keep in mind as you use this service:
Be kind and respectful. The relationship between mentors and mentees is really important. Mentees have questions, and the mentors are volunteering their time to answer them. So there’s just no room for people to have bad attitudes or behave inappropriately towards each other. Be kind, be cool, be respectful.
Be on time. This is also part of #1 but also good to call out separately. If you book a session, please do try to be on time. The best is to be a little early, but we know, everyone is busy, and sometimes things slip through the cracks. So it’s ok to be a little late. If you’re late, mentors will stick around for 5 minutes after the session start time as a courtesy, and it will be up to the discretion of the mentor if they stay available longer than that. After the 5 mins, we assume you’re not coming.
Be understanding. Sometimes it happens where people miss a session, and it doesn’t make sense to be overly punitive about it. If you miss a session, you can simply book another time or book time with a different mentor. If a mentor misses a session, they will book another time with you. Easy. Understandably, your schedule may change. Things may come up and you need to cancel or move your session. If you need to make a change, please be respectful of your mentor’s time. Nobody likes last minute cancellations or changes to their schedule. Please make schedule changes with at least a 24-hours lead time.
Mentors are not free design consultants. The Office Hours Project is a free service for people to get the career advice they need. We encourage mentees to discuss a wide variety of topics with their mentor, and the mentors will do the best they can to provide guidance for whatever questions you have. The Office Hours Project is not a design agency nor a consultancy, and the mentors will not provide direct contributions to your ongoing projects.
Book as many sessions as you need. Mentorship on a one-time basis is good but it can be really beneficial over a longer period of time. We won’t limit you to only one or two sessions. Mentees are free to book multiple sessions and build a more familiar relationship with a mentor, or even multiple mentors!
Learn from all levels. We have mentors from across the spectrum of experience and you can learn a lot from people of all experience levels. No matter where you are in your career path, the Office Hours mentors can provide guidance for a wide variety of different topics.
Share your experiences. If you had a good experience working with the mentors in the Office Hours Project, we encourage you to tell other people about it. Let people know that this service was helpful for you and tell people how easy it was to book a session! Sharing on social media is excellent!
In the end, we want this to be a positive experience for everyone. The mentors are generously volunteering to help other people, and observing a bit of etiquette can go a long way to help keep this as a positive service for the greater community. We hope you will observe these rules of etiquette when using Office Hours and we hope you have fun while getting the advice you need!
If you have any other questions or concerns, book a meeting with Chris to talk about it!
Chris started it as a way to use up a long weekend in our time of shelter-in-place, social isolation. He offered some time to meet online to talk about careers and give guidance, but demand for that long weekend outpaced availability, and Office Hours was born!
All sessions are conducted online (via Zoom or something similar), so please make sure your setup works, i.e. camera, audio, lighting, etc. It is helpful to prepare some questions or topics you would like to discuss and share them in advance with your mentor.
Philosophically, anyone could be a mentor because everyone has some special thing they do that no one else does. It's ok if you don't feel ready yet, but if you are interested in becoming a mentor, join us here on Office Hours! Book a meeting with Chris and talk about it with him!
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