Mentee handbook#

The mentoring programme is designed to upskill potential candidates to take on maintainer and other formal roles, as well as offering support and guidance longer term. It is also designed to help improve and grow the Astropy community – both in terms of technical skills and inclusivity.

This guidance is designed to help you build and maintain an effective mentoring relationship and support you through the mentoring process, and ultimately move into your desired role.

What is mentoring?#

Mentoring is a professional partnership in which an experienced person (the mentor) assists another (the mentee) in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance the mentee’s professional and personal growth and help develop their skills.

The mentoring relationship#

The purpose of the mentoring relationship is to:

  • Offer the mentee support and guidance, and help them to feel part of the Astropy community

  • Upskill the mentee in the mentor’s maintainer role

  • Identify skill / knowledge / behavioural gaps

  • Establish goals and action plans to meet these gaps

  • Assess progress and evaluate whether mentees are ready to progress to maintainer

What is my role?#

Your role as a mentee is to manage the relationship with your mentor – as this is about your development, you need to own it. Identify your strengths and development areas specific to the role you would like to take on, and share this with your mentor to help them guide you in the most effective way. You will need to be clear about what you want from your mentoring and be open and candid about the support you need.

Effective mentees:

  • Are willing to discuss failures and successes

  • Have a desire to learn & develop - identify and share their development goals

  • Give and receive honest feedback

  • Are accountable and reliable

  • Are respectful of the mentor’s time

  • Communicate regularly

  • Take advantage of opportunities

Key points to remember:

  • Think about - what do you want to develop & focus on? Select and bring ideas for discussion to your meetings.

  • Ensure you keep appointments – ensure there is mutual respect for each other’s time.

  • It’s a two-way relationship. The mentor is here to guide you but will also be open to new ideas or ways of thinking – you may have an idea they’ve not considered before. Offer challenge and feedback to your mentor as well as receiving it.

What should I expect from my mentor?#

Effective mentors:

  • Help the mentee think through their options and provide advice and guidance

  • Encourage and motivate

  • Role model behaviours

  • Nurture – be open and candid, enabling the mentee to confide in and trust them

  • Maximise learning opportunities

  • Create an environment of mutual respect

  • Listen, challenge and provide feedback

  • Communicate regularly

The mentoring process#

Process Flowchart

Need to add more specifics here once agreed