General Questions For Mentors For Mentees 

General Questions

Why are you providing a mentorship program for NYC UXPA members?

Our goals are:

  • To give motivated NYC UXPA members more opportunities to take part in the UX community.
  • To provide social interaction and professional development opportunities for members, regardless of experience.
  • To offer help to our less-experienced members looking for UX guidance and practical experience.
  • To help experienced members further hone their leadership and other professional skills.

    How does the application process work?

    Step 1: Application

    We are accepting  Mentee applications through February 10, 2017 and Mentor applications through February 15, 2017.

    Step 2: Selection

    We'll review applications from February 11 to March 10, 2017. You will hear back about a decision by March 10, 2017.

    Step 3: Matching

    The program coordinators will match accepted applications using a combination of mentors' and mentees':

    • Shared interests or career experiences
    • Communication preferences
    • Location
    • Availability

    Step 4: Notification

    We'll notify each pair of their match and each side will have the opportunity to approve the pairing. After they approve the match, we'll make introductions will via email.

    Step 5: Orientation

    Attending Orientation is the one thing every participant (mentor or mentee) must do. We'll discuss what the program is, what it isn't, and how to get the most out of it. This helps set expectations, which will help participants define realistic goals.

    How does the program work once I have a match?

    This is a six month program from March - September 2017. Both mentors and mentees should consider how they can maximize their experience, by creating a plan or setting milestones along the way.

    Orientation (March 14 or March 15, 2017)

    Mentors and mentees meet in person! We detail guidelines for the program.

    Ongoing Program Activities

    Mentors and mentees will determine their own meeting schedules. We don't have any formal requirements, but we suggest touching base at least once a month.

    We'll also have a Slack channel for group communications - sharing:

    • Resources (e.g., articles, local events)
    • Job postings
    • General knowledge or discussion

    Optional Meetups

    About every six weeks, we'll host a meetup to discuss a topic across the whole group, such as:

    • Work environments (startup vs. agency vs. enterprise vs. freelance)
    • Recruitment
    • Sharing current projects and portfolios

    These meetups are beneficial, informative and a great opportunity to meet with other mentors/mentees. We'll announce each one via email and Slack. You'll have to RSVP to attend, so watch your emails and the Slack channel!

    Capstone (September 2017, exact dates TBD)

    We share feedback, along with suggestions to improve the NYC UXPA Mentorship Program. We'll share more details later in the program via email and Slack.

    Is it possible to be a Mentor and a Mentee at the same time?

    In theory, yes. In reality, the demand for mentors far outweighs the supply. A potential mentor is much easier to match with a mentee than the reverse, based on numbers alone. For example, in 2016, the mentor:mentee application ratio was 1:7.

    Must I be a member of the NYC UXPA to apply for this program?

    You don't have to be a member at the time you submit your application. But because the program is only for NYC UXPA members, you must sign up for an NYC UXPA membership before Orientation if you're accepted into the program. (Note: Mentors will be gifted a year of NYC UXPA Membership upon attending Orientation).

    I applied but haven't heard back from you yet. Did you get my application?

    Unfortunately, our application system doesn't allow us to auto-generate emails confirming application receipt. But once the matching process is complete, you will hear from us by Friday, March 10, 2017 at the latest.

    What if I don't get matched in this cycle?

    Remember that for every cycle, the demand for mentors far outweighs the supply. If we can't find a match, that's by no means just a reflection of your qualifications.

    We will keep your application on file and notify you about upcoming cycles. In the next cycle, you'll be able to make updates to your application, rather than start from scratch.

    Keep your head up, and keep exploring other ways to develop your UX skills!

    What if I have a question that's not answered here?

    You can shoot the Mentorship Program Coordinators an email at mentorship@nycuxpa.org. We'll also be holding Information Session Webinars the night of Thursday, February 2, 2017. (We'll post the exact times soon.) During the webinars, we'll give an in-depth program overview, and take questions live.



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    For Mentors

    What are the qualifications for becoming a mentor?

    • You have spent your professional time practicing UX design, research, and/or strategy, or other related disciplines in the UX field.
    • You have the desire to help others, in this case, by giving your mentee's career momentum.
    • You want to challenge yourself, and further develop your leadership and other professional skills.

    Even if you've just landed your first job in UX, you can still be a mentor. Your experience and insights will be valuable for someone who's still trying to break in. Additionally, you will grow and learn from your experience as a mentor. We will find a mentee for you!

    What are my obligations if I take part?

    1. Attend Program Orientation on March 14 or March 15, 2017. Mentors and mentees meet in person! We detail guidelines for the program.
    2. Join our Slack Channel. Our private Slack channel is the main way we'll communicate as a group. This includes the sharing of articles, local events, job postings, general knowledge, and more. You will receive a Slack invitation shortly before Orientation.

    Beyond these, it will be up to you and your mentee to shape your participation and experience in the program. If your mentee is shy, try starting small. Ask them to meet for coffee, to join you at an NYC UXPA event, or just send them an interesting article. We find that each mentor/mentee pair has a unique dynamic, based on the mentee's goals.

    What do you recommend I do with my mentee as part of this six-month program?

    Keep your mentee's goals in mind, and guide them further in the right direction.

    For example, suggest books, websites or events of interest to your mentee.

    Share your perspective on a wide range of topics.

    These might include:

    • networking
    • identifying opportunities
    • innovation
    • hiring practices
    • your work experience
    • company structure
    • managing client relationships
    • workflow
    • tools of the trade
    • productivity
    • impact of your work
    • offering support and encouragement when appropriate

    We don't recommend:

    • Doing your mentee's work for them.
    • Giving your mentee grunt work.
    • Giving your mentee feedback that may interfere with their professional workflow or workplace politics.
    • Sharing sensitive information from your own practice.

    What will I get from participating in this program?

    Besides giving back and contributing to the UX community, benefits include:

    • One year membership to NYC UXPA (including early registration and discounted rates for NYC UXPA events).
    • Opportunities to meet and interact with other mentors and mentees from all areas of UX.
    • Chances to further hone your leadership skills. For example, you'll have opportunities to lead discussions or presentations at our meetups.

    How am I matched to a mentee?

    • We do our best to find a matching mentee based on information in your application. The application will ask for your interests, experience, location, availability, communication preferences, and more.
    • By March 10, 2017, we will let you know who we think would benefit most from your experience and interests.
    • You can either approve this match, or choose another mentee from those still available.
    • Once you and your mentee approve the match, we'll introduce you via email. Then you'll meet in person at Orientation on March 14 or 15, 2017.

    What if things don't work out with this program?

    Sometimes it's not a perfect match... Or sometimes, life happens and you need to cut back on your commitments. But we're here to help. Email us at mentorship@nycuxpa.org, and we'll help you figure out the best solution.

    For Mentees

    What qualifies me to be a mentee?

    • You are an NYC UXPA member. (Note: you don't have to be a member at the time you submit your application, but you will have to become an NYC UXPA member if you're accepted.)
    • You have specific career goals that need help from a more experienced UX professional.
    • You're ready to make the most of your opportunity over the course of the entire six-month program.

    Past mentees we've accepted into the program include:

    • Recent graduates, UX students, or non-UX professionals, transitioning into to UX.
    • UX professionals in one area of UX who want to transition to another (e.g., from UX design to UX research).
    • UX professionals moving into leadership or senior roles in their workplace.

    How can I get the most out of having a mentor?

    Be clear about what your goals are going into the program.

    Your goals will drive your experience throughout the program. Make it easier for your mentor to help you.

    Prepare an agenda with specific topics for your meetings or discussions with your mentor.

    Suggested topics for discussion include:
    • networking
    • identifying opportunities
    • innovation
    • hiring practices
    • work experience
    • company structure
    • client relationships
    • workflow
    • tools of the trade
    • productivity
    • impact of their work

    It's up to you what questions you ask.

    This program has few official requirements - so it is what you make of it.

    The only requirements are: attending orientation and joining the Slack channel. After that, you shouldn't rely on your mentor or the program coordinators to make a plan for you. The mentees who have gotten the most value out of this program are the ones who take the initiative.

    Take responsibility for fostering the relationship with your mentor.

    Mentors have applied to this program because they want to help you further your goals. But mentors are not mind readers and are often busy (a side effect of advancing in this field). You, the mentee, are responsible for keeping the lines of communication open.

    Respect your mentor's boundaries.

    Many mentors are often forthcoming and candid about their work. But your mentor is not required to share sensitive or private information with you.

    What are my obligations if I take part?


    1. Attend Program Orientation on March 14 or March 15, 2017. Mentors and mentees meet in person! We detail guidelines for the program.
    2. Join our Slack Channel. Our private Slack channel is the main way we'll communicate as a group. This includes the sharing of articles, local events, job postings, general knowledge, and more. You will receive a Slack invitation shortly before Orientation.

    Just like in school, your success will depend on how much you take advantage of this opportunity. Take some time to establish your goals, so your mentor knows what you're hoping to achieve. The six months will go faster than you think! We find that each mentor/mentee pair has their own unique dynamic based on the mentee's goals.

    What will I get out of participating in the program?


    • Personalized attention and feedback from an experienced UX professional.

    • The chance to develop professional relationships by meeting other mentors/mentees at the optional meetups.

    • Other gifts after completion of program as a token of our appreciation.

    How am I matched to a mentor?

    The only information we have to match you with a suitable mentor is what you provide on your application. The more detail and personality you can provide, the better your chances are of being matched. For instance, one word answers to open-ended questions won't give us much to work with to try to find you a match.


    • Matching criteria include your interests, experience, location, availability to meet, communication preferences, and more.

    • By March 10, 2017, we'll let you know which mentor, if any, matches your experience and interests.

    • Once you and your mentor approve the match, we'll introduce you via email. Then you'll meet in person at Orientation on March 14 or 15, 2017.

    What if things don't work out with this program?

    Sometimes it's not a perfect match... Or sometimes, life happens and you need to cut back on your commitments. But we're here to help. Email us at mentorship@nycuxpa.org, and we'll help you figure out the best solution.

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