How to Optimize Your Mentor Sessions

Every student following an OpenClassrooms Path benefits from the support of their allocated mentor. In this blog post, learn how to get the maximum potential from your sessions.

A mentor is someone from the professional field you are studying who is there to guide you through your learning experience. They will share with you their skills, knowledge, and expertise. Obstacles and questions are inevitable as you follow your path, and your mentor is there to help you figure out the best solutions.

You will meet with your mentor once per week, at a pre-scheduled time via video conference. This meeting is intended to be dynamic and personalized for you. Between sessions you work independently on your projects, at your pace. Find out more about the role of your mentor HERE.

How do mentor sessions work?

Your mentor sessions are an incredibly valuable time for you to optimize your learning and grow. You get one virtual hour of time with your mentor per week, included in your OpenClassrooms diploma program.

You may be thinking that this doesn’t sound like enough, but you can trust that we have tried and tested our process, and considered our student feedback carefully, so that your sessions will provide you with the perfect balance between the guidance you need and our independent learning objective.

One of the very best tactics to use your mentor time effectively is to have an open conversation with your mentor on how to break up the weekly hour. Being mindful, of course, that the structure and timing of these sessions are based on everyone’s availability (as in the professional world).

The most common solution is to reduce the meetings to 45-minutes so that there remains a floating 15-minute window for the mentor to answer emailed questions during the week.

Making the most of your mentor sessions

The best approach to take toward your mentor sessions is to:

  • Follow your course in between sessions.
  • Prepare your questions in advance of each of your mentoring sessions. Maybe even think about sending an agenda in advance to your mentor so s/he can prepare as well and give even more considered advice and support.
  • Take notes during the session.
  • Discuss next steps to hit your goals so that you are always progressing with your studies. This will help you to remain focused and confident.
  • It is always good practice to schedule the next session at the end of the current one, so have your diary to hand and be ready to offer your availability.

Keep in mind that mentoring is a distinct part of your further education so the sessions should not be seen as a “lesson”. You should not expect to be walked through the steps of a procedure, course, or a prepared lecture. Rather, you will be supported with specific queries, advised on the best direction for your studies and career, and empowered in your planning and focus.

Valuing your mentor

It is really important that you respect your mentor’s time. Approach the session time and interaction just as you would any professional meeting. It’s a great mindset to get into, just as you will with your future managers and colleagues.

OpenClassrooms have cancellation policies for students who are absent or late for their mentor sessions, and also if they are canceled last minute. It’s really important to be familiar with these so that you don’t lose out. You can find them here – read and digest them, and always do your best to act professionally.

We are realistic though and understand that things come up. So if you feel an exception to the policies should be made in your particular circumstances, please email hello@openclassrooms.com and let us know, where possible within 24 hours. As in the professional world, it is expected that you can anticipate potential issues that may risk or affect your session.

Mentorship is all about you

Remember, the attitude and aim of your mentor is always to help you. The session environment should be professional, constructive, and nurturing. Our mentors take on this role because they have a genuine interest in your success and wellbeing and enjoy passing on their expertise to the future of their profession.

If ever you want to change mentors, that is possible too.

We value your feedback

Don’t forget, you can always reach out via hello@openclassrooms.com with any questions, queries or feedback.

 

 

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