Mentor and coordinator office hours
Office hours are designated organizer hours for us to meet with a portion of our community to answer any questions they may have. Omotola has organized office hours for interns in the past — those were 1:1 meetings an intern could schedule with organizers from a list of time slots. While it offered greater flexibility to interns, the main challenge to organizers was managing so many meetings (and the emotional labor that’s attached to them).
When experimenting with office hours for mentors and coordinators, we decided on offering fixed time slots throughout the month of October. We had two sessions during the first week, and then a session a week the following weeks. Mentors and coordinators didn’t have individual time slots; instead, they’d be able to meet each other and, possibly, answer each other’s questions (or share any adjacent experiences they had).
Mentors shared their struggles coordinating applicants, reviewing final applications, and so on. Even when we didn’t have any attendees, knowing that we were actively monitoring our channels for questions encouraged our mentoring community to reach out to us. This is an important step to provide them more support, and that wouldn’t be possible without Tilda, our wonderful mentor advocate.
Our original plan for virtual celebrations was to have them in June or July of this year, but those two months were so busy we ended up postponing them to October. They were held on a Friday and Saturday to allow more people to join us. We had a short keynote from Karen; a way to socialize with other participations with breakout rooms; a section to highlight success stories; and a part where Tilda and I talked about becoming a mentor, a coordinators, and an Outreachy advocate.
I’d like to highlight Tracy’s, Sage’s, and Omotola’s efforts in making sure we would be able to send Outreachy t-shirts to many of our attendees; Paul’s wonderful support and monitoring on BigBlueButton matters; Karen’s wonderful keynote; Tilda’s, Omotola’s, and Sage’s participation in facilitating our breakout rooms; and the spontaneity of many of our attendees when we asked them to tell us what impact the program had in their lives. Those celebrations reminded us of how vibrant our community is, and we hope to continue hosting more events like this!
A couple more things: FOSDEM 2024, Workshop ADAs, PyLadies Goiânia, DevFest Cerrado, data mining project
- We’re making plans to meet at FOSDEM 2024. I’m particularly excited about this because (1) we’ll finally meet Omotola and Tilda in person (2) traveling to Europe will be a bit less stressful than traveling to the United States, although I’ll still hit the 11000 kilometers mark once more.
- I attended Workshop ADAs and a PyLadies Goiânia meetup this month, marking the first time in 4 years I’m able to promote Outreachy to people in my university and in my region.
- My talk about systems theory and technology was accepted to DevFest Cerrado, one of the biggest tech conferences in my region.
- I’m taking a class in Advanced Information Systems Topics that’s all about data mining. I plan on analyzing our first longitudinal study and of feedback we’ve received from mentors and interns in previous cohorts.