Does anyone know of any mentorship programs in the IxD field? If
you've been a mentor (or a mentee), what value do you place on this
kind of professional relationship, if any?
I find myself in need of a mentor, but I'm unsure where to look. I'm
also unsure how to ask someone whether they're interested in being a
If you have any suggestions about this issue, I'd love to hear them.
In my career I have always been short on mentorship and personally I
feel that mentorship is probably one of the single most important
pieces of career growth. So I think it is great that you want to find
and build some mentor/mentee relationships.
on the formal side to answer your question IAI has a mentor program.
Check it out on their web site at http://iainstitute.org/.
On the informal side, I think the answer is about finding ways to
build relationships with people.
<long time readers beware of repeat soapbox speech>
Probably the #1 reason I became active in building IxDA is to create
relationships with mentors. I have used my visibility, open and
forward personality, etc. to forge relationships with people who I
felt were my senior and could offer me mentorship of any kind. I never
turned any of these relationships into a formal mentor/mentee
relationship, but it is always in my mind that I can call upon these
people for any reason and they will be there. These same people my
mentors are also people I'm proud to call friends and in many ways
they have surprised me with the level of camaraderie they have
So my advice to you would be to not look so much for "formal" mentors
except for those that you can find in your direct workplace, but
rather make a career development decisions similar to choosing a
conference, or a course, or a discussion list to be a part of, and
figure out how best you can create relationships with those whom you
are interested in getting to know.
On a similar note I have always been surprised with how eager and
friendly people are to hear from people take direct emails and answer
questions without much of a formal pretense or introduction. Don't be
rude, or pushy, and be patient, but most folks like being a mentor to
people who are genuinely interested in the same things they are
interested in. In turn they will begin to use your ear and your mind
in ways that you might not expect from a mentor/mentee relationship,
but is really at the core of a good mentorship. There should always be
a two-way aspect. The faucet shouldn't be open completely in both
directions, but the flow should definitely be 2-way.
Anyway, good luck!
On 3/2/07, Cecily Walker <cecily.walker at gmail.com> wrote:
> Does anyone know of any mentorship programs in the IxD field? If
> you've been a mentor (or a mentee), what value do you place on this
> kind of professional relationship, if any?
> I find myself in need of a mentor, but I'm unsure where to look. I'm
> also unsure how to ask someone whether they're interested in being a
> If you have any suggestions about this issue, I'd love to hear them.
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Thanks for your reply -- it didn't feel even remotely like a soapbox
speech to me!
I appreciate what you've said about having an open and forward
personality, two things that I am absolutely lacking. What's an
introvert to do? :-) I think that is why I find it difficult to
approach people -- even informally -- to set up the kind of "trusted
advisor" relationship I'm looking for.
I've been very impressed with the level of professionalism I've seen
on IxDA and other ID/UX mailing lists I'm on, so I'm encouraged that
I'll be able to find something, be it a person or a resource, that
will lead me in the right direction.
I don't have too much experience myself and, like many of us probably, could
also use some mentorship. But in my opinion, difficulty to approach people
in this profession is not really an option. We design for people, so we must
at least be able to create connections with many kinds of people in order to
be able to understand them better.
I don't know my introvert/extrovert ratio these days, but I used to be an
introvert and I'm certainly not a full extrovert. But I found that with a
little exercise, it is possible, and also very rewarding, to connect to
people (in general, not only 'mentors' or 'users'), if I really want it.
So I'm sure you'll be fine, as long as you have confidence in yourself and
give it a good try.
On 3/3/07, Cecily Walker <cecily.walker at gmail.com> wrote:
> I appreciate what you've said about having an open and forward
> personality, two things that I am absolutely lacking. What's an
> introvert to do? :-) I think that is why I find it difficult to
> approach people -- even informally -- to set up the kind of "trusted
> advisor" relationship I'm looking for.
> - Cecily
Sergiu Sebastian Tauciuc