Sometime back, we introduced ‘user preferences’ on the Almabase platform. Almost everybody utilized the feature to identify potential mentors for their current students and young alumni. Six months after the launch, we could notice the trend clearly.
Mentorship programs have historically seen great engagement and it has been a hot topic recently for a couple of key reasons:
- The ask is a lot more appealing to younger alumni. Asking someone to spend an hour a week mentoring a student in a topic that interests them is a lot easier to sell than a $20 donation.
- Recent graduates who have benefited from a mentorship program, tend to pay-it-forward by mentoring current students.
- It develops a sense that the institute cares about the benefit of the community.
- It fosters a culture of growth and leadership in the alumni.
- It promotes a sense of cooperation and harmony within the entire community.
It’s not hard to see why a lot of schools are starting to inculcate a culture of mentorship within their alumni community. There was a clear opportunity to capitalize on the interest of the alumni to mentor students.
So we took a step further from user preferences to build a mentorship feature right into the platform. Honestly, we’re quite excited to see how it will foster better engagement among alumni communities globally.
Introducing Mentorship on Almabase
The mentorship feature is a personalized inbox for every user on your network. The interface hinges on the conversations page, which enlists all the active conversation the user has with his/her mentors and mentees.
What’s to love ?
The tool is designed to provide both mentors and mentees with incredible flexibility to dictate the terms of their relationship. It ensures a higher user adoption rate by reducing friction at every step. Here are some of the key things to look out for in the feature:
1. Better relevance with Mentorship Services
‘Services’ are a list of topics or activities that mentors can choose to assist mentees with. By default, there are 7 services configured into your website :
– Resume Review
– Interview Skills
– Life Skills
– Academic Guidance
– Career Guidance
– Job Shadowing
– Industry Insights
These lists, however, can be configured to any of the services that are specific to your institution.
A predefined set of mentorship services help towards ensuring that each match is relevant for both the mentor and mentee.
Many platforms force mentees to find mentors merely based on their availability. With services, mentors can select in which way they can contribute the most. While looking for mentors, mentees can close in on a small set of mentors who are particularly interested in the help they require.
2. Complete Control
For a successful mentorship program, you need to balance both sides of the equation. You need mentors to be available to help, and mentees approaching the alumni for help. The challenge is to meet the expectations of both the stakeholders while accounting for their personal preferences and limitations.
Mentees do not get a force-fed match. They can select a mentor they really like, based on who is available for the help they need.
Mentors, on the other hand, have the liberty to accept or decline a request for mentorship – taking into account their availability or personal or any personal preferences they may have. Mentors can even remove themselves from mentorship services if they feel they are being overwhelmed with new requests.
3. Always connected and built on email communication
Right from the request to the conversations themselves, mentorship happens on email. Both the mentor and the mentee can simply reply to messages easily from any of the devices they are using, without the need to login to the Almabase dashboard.
4. Manage multiple conversations with ease
The conversations window allows users to view and manage all their active and past conversations. This helps keep the context clear to both the parties at all times. As soon as the users feel that the goal of a conversation has been reached, they can simply close or archive the thread.
Here is a peek into the mentorship feature
The feature is available in Beta today for all of you who would like to try it out with your alumni community. Get in touch with your account manager to learn more about how to get started.
Let us know in the comments below on how you plan on using this feature and features that you would like to see included in the full release of the feature.