We take a student-first approach to coaching.

Each academic year, we match Bay Area women studying technical fields with practicing technical women mentors.  We partner closely with the Stanford, UC Berkeley, and San Jose State University Society of Women Engineers chapters in order to bring these programs to students — though there is absolutely no requirement for mentees or mentors to be members of the organization.

The program is predominantly informal mentoring between one or two students and a practicing industry mentor.  We try our best to match students to mentors with similar fields of study or work experience — but is not always possible.  Typically, mentors meet with their student(s) once a month for 45-60 minutes via video chat or in person, based on their own schedules.  Students are responsible for setting the agenda, but organic conversation about what is going on in the students’ lives can also be fruitful for discussion and coaching.  As the point is to develop a meaningful relationship, we recommend at least one in-person meeting at some point during the school year.

It is rare to have a program that provides such high value to both sides: the student gets a coach and exposure to possibilities for their future the mentor gets a fresh perspective the ability to give back and potentially a new hire.
— WISMP mentor

In addition to the mentoring, we run several events during the year.  A mandatory kick-off dinner in the fall, typically on-campus, enables mentors and mentees to meet for the first time.  We run a Summit event in January or February, bringing all of the programs together in one place to discuss and work on topics of interest for both mentors and mentees.  Each program will also do a finale event in the spring.

Resources for Program Participants

Mentors don't need any special training in order to be impactful for their student mentees.  Some mentors prefer a framework for thinking about coaching, however, and for those we recommend reviewing the GROW Model.

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