We are proud to continue our blog series–‘Meet a Mentor’–which aims to highlight the excellent team of mentors we have on-staff at OpenClassrooms, who help guide our students towards success. Today, we’re introducing Rohan Taneja. Rohan has been an OpenClassrooms mentor for the Android developer program for 6 months and has kindly accepted to get interviewed.
Here are his answers to our questions:
Can you tell us a bit more about you? Where you’re from and what you do?
My name’s Rohan and I’m from India. I am passionate about knowledge sharing and Android. I’m currently working as an Android Developer at Appster in India. I’m a Google certified Associate Android Developer and the co-organizer of Google Developers Group New Delhi. I love playing football and FIFA!
Can you explain how mentoring works at OpenClassrooms?
Every student at OpenClassrooms is assigned a mentor at the start of their learning journey. The mentor (mostly) remains the same for the whole duration of the mentee’s course.
The mentor hosts an hour-long one-to-one video call with their mentee at least once a week so as to stay updated about their progress, solve all their queries and help them feel better when they need the motivation to go on. The mentors also connect with their mentees in between the video calls via Email, Workplace or Slack so that the mentee is never left waiting during their crucial learning time.
Other than this, mentors are responsible for helping their mentees prepare for their projects’ presentation as well. With all this support, the student feels confident and is ultimately able to ace their project presentation with the validator.
What do you like about OC’s mentoring process? Why do you like being a mentor?
The best thing about OC’s mentoring process is that it is centered around the student. OC could’ve easily opted for a one-to-one chat model between the mentor and the mentee but the management at OC knows that people learn best when they get to learn about the mistakes from someone else’s experience, i.e. from the mistakes that someone else had already committed during their own learning path. Hence, OC opted for a one-to-one video chat method instead.
This allows the mentee to get comfortable by talking to their mentor face-to-face and ask their queries no matter how basic they may seem. It is also easier to convey the queries in a video chat than just a normal text based chat. This also allows the student to have a dedicated time slot every week just for their queries and not wait for the mentor’s response to their queries similar to what happens over chat, email, etc.
What I like about being a mentor is the fact that no matter how many times I explain a topic to one of my mentees, I get to learn a new thing about that topic every time! This enhances my knowledge about the topic and when I’m preparing to teach it to one of my mentees, I realise that I have a lot of knowledge gaps which I then try to work on and remove.
It is said that,
“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
What mentoring allows me to accomplish is,
“If you teach something multiple times, you’ll soon understand it completely.”
Plus, the feeling of seeing someone progress in their learning journey with your help is something that cannot be put into words.
Do you have an anecdote of how you’ve helped a student succeed?
One of my mentees at OpenClassrooms (Let’s call her Kat) is 40+ years old and she’s from a totally non-technical background. Kat was looking to turn her life around by learning to code Android apps and earning money out of it.
She was really hesitant about asking her queries at the beginning of her course as she thought that all her queries were silly ones. But thanks to the video chat model from OC, she was able to open up about the fact that she had really basic knowledge of how to work with computers and soon she was able to ask her questions freely.
Now, she is able to get all her doubts resolved easily and has clarity on every topic she has touched. Kat is now easing through her projects and her confidence level is at an all time high.
What advice or tip would you give to someone who is thinking of studying online?
With the amazing learning resources available online at this time, the only thing that a person lacks when studying online is learning from someone else’s experience. If you are lucky enough to find a mentor who can guide you so that you don’t commit the same mistakes as they did, your speed of learning would be much quicker and frustration levels would be much lower. If you’re unable to find a mentor, I’d highly recommend an OpenClassrooms’ course to someone who’s looking to jump into programming.
OpenClassrooms is the leading online education platform with over 3 million users monthly. It offers free courses as well as internationally recognized programs in tech and design. You can find more information here or book a call with one of our advisors.