May 2021 cohort
Interns (now alums) who didn’t have extensions finished their internships this month. In the last conversation we all had, many of them expressed their appreciation for our bi-weekly chats. One intern in particular told us this was a great way to keep themselves engaged with the internship, and suggested bi-weekly check-ins for interns who do have extensions. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible at this time since both Sage and I are overwhelmed with tasks as the December round takes a higher place in our list of priorities. But I believe this would be a good thing to implement when we have a dedicated community manager for Outreachy.
As the number of interns increases, so does the complexity of extensions. In two particularly difficult cases – one case involving an unresponsive intern and the other, a code of conduct incident –, we found out that those two interns haven’t received their midpoint feedback, thus they weren’t paid. Sage and I are working on improving the process to request and manage extensions to prevent this from happening again.
We also saw an increase in the amount of requests for letters of participation. Since many of our alums have time-sensitive requests, responding to them in a timely matter has become a priority of mine in the last few weeks.
December 2021 cohort
I personally recruited four application reviewers for this round! They’ve been doing an amazing job so far – we’ve reviewed 50% of all submissions that are subject to manual reviewing. I’m fairly confident we’ll be able to review all submissions on time!
I pinged 20 communities this round. 30 communities have already signed up! And I’ve been attending onboarding sessions with new communities to get a better idea of how we vet them.
One session in particular gave me the idea to start screening mentors about their expectations on mentoring. We had an incident with a mentor in which an email exchange showed we had different, conflicting ideas of what mentoring should be. This person’s mentorship style would be better supported if they had a co-mentor, but as a standalone mentor, their attitude was a contributing factor in making their intern disengage from their internship. We need to orient coordinators to select mentors with complemetary mentorship styles.