Mentorship

Mentorship for a Digital Hackathon is much similar to it might look in an in-person hackathon. People are still interested in spending time learning about new projects and meeting new people as much as they were in having fun during the hackathon! Here are a few things you can do to organize the whole process

Mentor Recruitment

Recruiting mentors for digital events is very similar to how you did it in the past with a form. To encourage mentors to help out at the event, spend some time thinking about ways to bring value to the mentors, such as providing certificates or giving them more tutoring/teaching opportunities. Additionally, we recommend reaching out to existing tutors or teaching assistants to mentor because they already find the value out of mentoring and teaching others. **Since you aren’t asking anyone to travel, you can recruit mentors from all over. Invite alumni from your school, industry professionals, and your professors to join during shifts throughout the event.

To facilitate the process, set up a webpage mentioning a mentor's responsibilities and the perks they might be getting by getting enrolled as a mentor for your hackathon. Set up a form to get the interested people to register, asking them to pick a timeslot to help facilitate mentorship.

Quality of mentorship

Mentorship is one of the key ways your hackers can get the help they need and be the difference between them finishing a project or not.

As your team finalizes mentorship, I’d highly encourage creating a guide to help elevate the quality of your mentors and include items like: questions to ask hackers, how to troubleshoot with the hacker, and useful beginner tools/resources.

Day of Management

Managing mentors during the day-of means taking advantage of your chat platform. To make a smooth process for everyone, we recommend to set up the following

  • Give slots to each mentor so that they know their timings better, though encouraging them to be present throughout the hackathon

  • Create a #mentorship channel for hackers know where to ask for help and mentors know where to look for requests

  • Create an @mentor role and add all mentors to there so hackers can easily differentiate mentors

  • Have a set of guidelines for mentors on what to do during mentorship, giving them a process

  • Encourage volunteers to stay alert on Discord to look for hackers who need help and push them to the above-mentioned mentorship channel.

Connecting Mentors to Hackers

As often as possible, encourage mentors to hop on voice and/or video chats with the hackers seeking help.

  • Have organisers be active on chat and see if some hackers have problems, connecting them to mentors accordingly

  • Ask mentors to be active on the chat channel

  • Have mentorship office hours: A peer group type of experience where people can ask questions during the assigned time.