Mentorship is a key tenant of the OpenClassrooms training method. Students get to meet each week with a dedicated mentor who is a seasoned professional in their field of study.
You may be wondering, what our students think about mentorship.
We touched base with a handful of our students to get their perspectives. Students and graduates alike are unanimous, mentorship is one of the elements that make learning at OpenClassrooms stand out among other online platforms as well as brick and mortar universities.
Emilien, a 37-year-old, nearly finished with the Digital Project Manager Career Path, has had two mentors. He told us:
“I was with my first mentor until the end of project 3, and she helped me make progress as a developer, but also on a personal level. Now I’m paired with Guillaume, and he’s having me work on optimizing code. The pressure always rises as I get close to reaching my goals, and just after the session, it recedes and I’m ready to get back to work, I feel good.
“Having a mentor gives me someone to talk to about development…it gives me a framework. When you start learning a new technology, it’s good to have a few guidelines to get organized, for your mentor to say: ‘For next week, I want you to work on entities,’ it keeps you in line.”
For Clemence, a 24-year-old student on the Front-end Developer Career Path, “mentorship is absolutely essential”.
She told us, “Right now I’m about halfway through my Career Path. Whenever I have a technical problem, she’s there, but she does so much more than that. She’s also there to cheer me on when I’m not feeling very sure of myself. After the fact, she’ll often say: ‘See? You did it!’
Having a real person to talk to is really great. We talk about OpenClassrooms, but about all kinds of other topics, too.”
A Support System
Sylvain is 46 years old and he’s on a Digital Project Manager Career Path. He started working in 1989 just after high school, and worked in the same company for 25 years. Despite his extensive career, he never earned a college degree. He told us how much his mentor helped him make the transition to become a student again.
“I had so many questions and worries, and I needed someone to encourage me and tell me how I could succeed. It’s helpful when you’ve been out of school for a long time. Over time, you lose the art of note-taking and assimilating what is important. And mentoring adds a really valuable human element! The courses and videos are well done, but it’s useful to have someone there to help you when you’re worried.
Mentors are also available if you get stuck. When Sebastien saw that I was having a hard time, he said: ‘Let’s start over,’ and he guided me in a different direction. And what I hadn’t managed to do in 4 months, I was able to finish in 3 weeks, thanks to his redirection.
The role of a mentor is to guide you. I’m now paired with my 4th mentor…And each one of them has their own way of doing things, they have all helped me learn.”
A collaborative relationship
For Khalil, a 17-year-old graduate of a Digital Project Manager Career Path. He explained:
“Mentorship is really important because the mentor uses a personalized teaching approach that makes it possible to help each and every student work toward their goals. That’s why it’s a pillar of the Career Path, allowing you to acquire the skills necessary and learn about the demands of the profession.
Your mentor is a partner, it’s a collaborative relationship. The mentor and the student share information and experiences to grow and move forward, together.”
A relationship built on trust
Sylvie, 59, who graduated from a Digital Project Manager Career Path knows first hand the value of a mentor. She told us:
“You need a framework to work within. You don’t necessarily know how much time you’ll spend on each project. There are times when you feel lost, and the months seem to fly by, but then your mentor tells you it will be ok and that you’re on track!”
“Setting goals each week is also really important. You set them together, it’s a two-way conversation. So it’s doable. Sometimes you might get held accountable because you didn’t reach the goal you set together, but it’s never mean or scary, it’s a relationship built on trust.”
“It’s a relationship between two professionals. At first, you’re a newbie professional, just starting out, and your mentor will help you grow. And since we all have moments where we get tired or doubt ourselves, having a mentor is absolutely necessary.”
The best way to learn
Sonia, is a 40-year-old student in mobile development very enthusiastic about mentorship:
“What I like is that you’re with another adult, face to face with a professional, without any sort of hierarchy or boss/subordinate relationship: one person who has skills, speaking with another person who is in the process of learning those same skills.
The mentor always finds a way to help: ‘Go have a look at this, I’ll send you some links, stay curious… If you get stuck, I can help.’
It’s a very constructive relationship. When it came time for my last project presentation, my project was not complete and my mentor said he hadn’t validated it. But afterwards, during the feedback, he was really constructive. He wasn’t going to change his way of interacting with me, just because I hadn’t reached my goal. It was a discussion, an exchange, with the purpose being for things to go better next time and to help me understand why I hadn’t succeeded. It was helpful and instructive.
We’ll let Sonia have the last word:
“I don’t understand why teaching doesn’t always work this way. Rather than the typical, ‘I know best, be quiet and memorize everything I say,’ we learn how to learn and receive guidance.”
To learn more about Mentorship at OpenClassrooms check out:
All about mentorship at OpenClassrooms
Meet Josh Fluke, Mentor at OpenClassrooms
Come to our Career Paths page to see all the programs in which you will be accompanied by a mentor.