Mentorship FAQ

Why should I be a mentor?

There are many benefits to becoming a mentor. Not only are you giving back to the department you are investing a great deal of your life into, you are helping others grow and succeed by sharing your previous experiences. Atop helping the community, being a mentor comes with other great benefits, such as:

  • Diversifying Your Resume: Employers love to see students being more than students. Community service, leadership development, and an investment to bettering others in your field are all traits that make your resume stand out from the rest.
  • Perks/Rewards: The WiCS mentorship program greatly appreciates your investment to this program. Throughout the year, we will be hosting events for you and your mentee to attend as well as mentor-only retreats to thank you for the work you do. Other perks may include fun swag, career development, and networking, to name a few.
  • Friendship: Along the way, you and your mentee will form a friendship that will last beyond the terms of your degree. This is a huge advantage to being a mentor because you will both make a difference in each other’s lives. Also, you may make some other friends along the way in the program!
  • Professional Development: Through coached trainings and hands on leadership experience, the mentorship program will help you develop skills that cannot be learned inside the classroom. These skills include (but are not limited to) interpersonal development, career development, and community building.
  • Driving Change: By being a part of the mentorship program, you are taking a first step toward impacting others that will shape the current state of CS culture. By being their guide, you are helping WiCS drive our mission of increased inclusion and diversity in the CS department at Portland State. We Belong is more than a catchy slogan to us, and being a mentor helps us drive this change throughout the entire department.

Why should I be a mentee?

Becoming a mentee is a great way to navigate the unknown. By being paired with a mentor, you will have someone you can look up to, ask for advice, ask for homework help, or just to be a friend. Sometimes, it can be difficult being new in a department so exciting. Having a mentor will not only improve your odds of having a positive experience in the department, but it will help you become more successful and build relationships you may not have otherwise built yourself. Atop having someone to look up to, being a mentee comes with other great benefits, such as:

  • Resources: Your mentor, although a great resource, will not be your only resource. Being a part of the mentorship program means being a part of WiCS, so you will also have access to all the resources and opportunities WiCS has to offer! For more about WiCS, click the WiCS tab at the top right corner of the webpage!
  • Perks/Rewards: The WiCS mentorship program wants to make being a member of the CS department an unforgettable experience. Throughout the year, we will be hosting events for you and your mentor to attend, bond, and have some fun! Further, you and your mentor will have some 1-1 meetings where you can plan your own fun activities. Occasionally, WiCS may hold contests for mentor/mentee pairs where you could win fun WiCS swag or other cool prizes throughout the year!
  • Friendship: Along the way, you and your mentor will form a friendship that will last beyond the terms of your degree. This is a huge advantage to being a mentee because you will both make a difference in each other’s lives. Also, you may make some other friends along the way in the program!
  • Professional Development: Have the opportunity to build confidence, develop your personal and technical skills, and learn from those who have come before you. Your mentors have already gone through many of the things you will soon be facing and they can help you prepare, give you advice, and develop your professional persona.

What am I required to do as a mentor or a mentee?

As a mentor and a mentee, you are required to:

  • Attend at least 1 WiCS meeting per month
  • Meet with your mentor/mentee on a regular basis

Are events mandatory?

No, but we highly suggest attending them! These events are intended for you and will be a great way to bond with your mentor/mentee. Take advantage of what WiCS wants to offer you! Some of the events we are planning include:

  • Mentor Rush Week
  • Mentorship Kickoff Party
  • Department-Wide Social Events
  • Mentorship End of Year Banquet
  • Contests
  • Volunteering and Fundraising

Why do I have to attend 1 WiCS meeting per month when I just want to be a mentor/mentee?

Being a part of the WiCS mentorship program means being a part of WiCS. As a student-led group, we feel it is important that all active members are up to date with the activities of the WiCS program since they represent what we are all about. By attending one WiCS meeting per month, you are ensuring that you are interacting with others in the group, voicing your concerns/opinions, and being a part of the community WiCS is trying to build. In order to truly reflect our motto “we belong”, we must all be a part of the change we are driving in the department.