by Denise Philipp
Berlin Geekettes kicked off the Mentorship Program with the help of our ladies, the gentlemen who support us, and our good friends at Wooga.
We’re also extremely thrilled about the many new faces that came to celebrate and hang with us at our trusted venue Kommerzpunk.
The evening included drinks and appetizers, courtesy of Wooga (your purple chips are genius!), and a short overview of the Mentorship Program given by Denise Philipp. Mentor Caroline Drucker, Country Manager at Etsy, mentee Celine Schmahl, founder of qipoqo and mentee Maria Spiering, Computer Science student at Freie University Berlin shared their thoughts on the importance of having role models.
BG founder Jess and BG Evangelista Lisa reflect upon the evening: “We both agreed there was a certain energy or electricity in last night’s event. The excitement and feeling of sisterhood was there. It gave me goosebumps. Thanks to all of you, there is nothing more uplifting than being surrounded by all of you ladies. BG is growing and getting stronger by the day.”
The ladies over at Crowdpark also wrote a blog post about the event!
We want to thank all of you for your courage and contagious excitement. This program means a great deal to the group and to everyone who watches you shake things up!
Next, the Berlin Geekettes team answers a few questions about the mentorship program:
How many participants are currently in the program?
At the moment, we have 25 mentors and 25 mentees matched. These women are a mixture of entrepreneurs and engineers with an entrepreneurial mind.
Can I still sign up to be a mentor/mentee?
Yes. We continue to collect applications. However, we will not match new pairs until the beginning of 2013. Contact us firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join the program next year.
How is the matching process done?
We’ve matched each mentor and mentee based on the information you gave us when you signed up: Your skills and expertise, experience and areas of challenge, and of course the language you speak. We also took the mentor’s company profile (e.g., products and/or offered services) in consideration, in case mentor and mentee share a mutual interest in a market niche.
How much time should we spent together?
We’ve asked the mentors for a commitment of at least one work-shadow-day a month. Please honor this commitment and let mentees watch you perform in your role at work.
The key to building a relationship and offering consistent support is your face-to-face meeting. To really get the most out of your sessions, as mentor and as mentee, please be there for each other several times a month for coffee, lunch, to brainstorm and talk.
At the end of this first session, we will ask you to share the number of meetings you were able to have.
What are we supposed to accomplish during that time?
This should be one of the very first things you will have to do as mentor and mentee: Find out what it is you want to conquer together. You are all unique and face different challenges. Be clear about your expectations and the goals you set.
For example: If you want to start your own business, now or after graduation, you could tackle parts of your business plan (e.g., financing, market analysis, competitions, etc.).
If you’re getting into programming, web development or design, you could plan a small project together. At the end of this first session, we will host an event where you can showcase your project to the rest of the group.
Do I need to submit/deliver anything?
After your first mentoring session concluded, we would like to share your experience on our blog. This is a wonderful way for you to set an example and to inspire others to find and lend support.
To get you started on the post, please write a letter to yourself. Talk about your current situation, the challenges you face, your expectations of this program, your goals.
Then put the letter aside.
You don’t have to share your letter with us or anyone else (unless you want to of course!). When your first mentoring session is over, read your letter again and see if the things you wrote will help summarize your experience.
What if we want to continue our mentoring sessions?
We hope you will build a relationship that surpasses the length of the program! This mentorship program serves as matchmaker and to offer guidance in the process. If you made a strong connection and want to continue with mentoring sessions, then nothing should stop you.
What’s happening with the program in 2013?
Right, this is our first round of mentoring sessions. This means we really need your feedback along the way. We are staying in close touch with all mentors and mentees throughout the sessions and we would love to hear your thoughts!
It also means that there are more things to come in 2013. The Berlin Geekettes team is working on ways to support its mentors and mentees in every possible way, including offering additional resources.
Curious how you can support this program? Contact us at email@example.com.