At Springboard, our mentors are the springboard for helping students reach the next level in their careers. Springboard’s mentor-student model empowers students to take charge of their learning experience complemented by personalized advice and feedback.

Mentors work closely with students to provide technical guidance on projects and exercises in weekly 1:1 calls, while also setting them up for a successful career after graduation. By providing industry insights, interview tips, and job-search advice, mentors help students better understand what employers are looking for and hold them accountable by working together to set weekly targets and learning goals. With over 700 active mentors based in 60-plus countries, representing more than 10% of Fortune 500 companies, our mentor community is vibrant and multicultural. In 2020 alone, we hired 320 mentors to further our goal of transforming one million lives by 2030.

With this in mind, Springboard has established a Mentor Advisory Board: a panel of top Springboard mentors who meet monthly to brainstorm solutions to improve the student experience. The board will devise strategies to increase student placements in the job market and help students better recognize what skills they need to make themselves more employable once they complete a Springboard program.

In light of the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the board recently met to discuss questions like: how can we increase a sense of community within the mentor pool? How can we support at-risk students who are caring for sick family members or dealing with financial setbacks to complete the course? How can we ensure our students get the most out of video conferencing tools? How can we identify and address mentor paint points and improve mentor retention? 

The mentor impact at Springboard

From the very beginning of the mentorship program at Springboard, our mentors—who comprise some of the top experts in their respective fields—have made a massive impact on student outcomes. 

Recently, we introduced a dashboard that helps students monitor their progress in the course so they can see if they’re on track to completing the course within the recommended 6-9 months. 

Here are some other ways in which mentors have shaped the Springboard experience:

  • Impacting curriculum. Providing feedback and developing content as subject matter experts (SMEs).
  • Impacting the user experience. Pinpointing and implementing improvements to the student experience.
  • Impacting growth. Provided references to investors leading up to our $31 million Series B fundraising round.
  • Impacting brand and community. Past students have even returned to become mentors.

Mentoring someone means committing to their success and having the patience to guide those from non-technical backgrounds to grasp complex concepts they may have never encountered before. Consequently, when we vet mentor applicants, we look for people who are passionate about their work. During the interview process, we ask things like “What accomplishments are you most proud of from the last three years?” We also require all accepted applicants to take a short Mastering Mentoring workshop that shows them how to structure their weekly 1:1 calls for maximum impact and personalize the mentee’s learning experience.  

“The most rewarding aspect of being a Springboard mentor is working with mentees for the long term and being a part of their transformational journey,” said Shoumik Goswami, a member of the Mentor Advisory Board and a mentor for Springboard’s Data Analytics Career Track. “Over the period of six to nine months, you not only become a student’s mentor for the course; you also become a part of their lives, and their success becomes your responsibility.”

“My mentor was probably single-handedly the reason I didn’t give up on this course. Andy helped me thoughtfully figure out problems I didn’t know how to approach, gave concise feedback, and congratulated me when I did well. By far one of the best mentors I’ve had.” 

Gwen mocilnikar, ux design grad

Giving mentors a bigger role at Springboard

Our mentor community includes experts from top tech companies like Google, Uber, Pandora, LinkedIn, Spotify, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, as well as a wide variety of leading startups and top-tier consulting firms. The Mentor Advisory Board consists of top-tier subject matter experts who are passionate about mentoring the next generation of talent in their industry, and who wish to give back. Each board member represents a specific career track at Springboard, from Data Science to UI/UX Design and more, and agrees to serve on the board for at least one year. 

Plenty of industry professionals are interested in giving back to their community by passing on their skills, but many aren’t sure how to go about it. 

Mentorship at Springboard

“I joined the advisory board because I wanted to help guide the future of learning and share my experiences from both my time as an educator and a UX designer and researcher,” said Julia Wilson, a mentor for Springboard’s UI/UX Design Career Track who has a background in teaching environmental education programs.

Others take pride in helping to advance Springboard’s mission of bridging the world’s skills gap by enabling every individual to acquire the skills they need to advance in their career, no matter their professional or educational background or where they are in the world.

“When I first heard about the mentor advisory board, I was definitely excited to join as it was a way to discuss how to improve relationships between students and their mentors at Springboard,” said Dipanjan Sarkar, a mentor for Springboard’s Data Science Career Track. “Besides this, it was also an opportunity to work more closely with Springboard including ways to improve mentor onboarding, experience, feedback lifecycles, and general platform and user experience improvements for both students and mentors.”

Meet our Mentor Advisory Board

Meg Clayton, senior UX/UI designer at Whirlpool Corporation

Meg Clayton Mentor Advisory Board
  • Why did you choose to join the Mentor Advisory Board?

I joined the Mentor Advisory Board because I am passionate about the Springboard community and contributing to the mentoring experience. Having been with Springboard for over four years, I’ve mentored a handful of design courses and have gotten to be a direct part of Springboard’s growth. Having been on this journey for so long, I am grateful for the opportunity to help influence the future of what it means to be a mentor at Springboard. 

  • What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a Springboard mentor?

The most rewarding aspect of being a Springboard mentor is observing students when they have their “aha” moment. This is when they work through the curriculum and find something that really resonates with them. Students often join the course because they are trying to decide if it’s the right career change, but when they have their moment when things click and they discover a passion for design, it’s wonderful to be a part of that. It reminds me of why I chose this career path and fell in love with design as well. 

Shoumik Goswami, lead business analyst at Fidelity International

Shoumik Goswami Mentor Advisory Board
  • Why did you choose to join the Mentor Advisory Board?

I got excited when I heard about the Mentor Advisory Board because I knew this would allow me to make an impact and add value to Springboard. Even before joining the board, I shared my ideas with the Mentor Operations team—some of them were implemented. That itself made me very happy because my thoughts were being acknowledged. This was a fantastic opportunity for me because I could participate in product brainstorming sessions, feature discussions, user surveys, and share my feedback directly with the team. For a product guy like me, the board seemed like the perfect place for learning and development alongside the Springboard team. 

  • What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a Springboard mentor?

I have had several mentorship roles over the course of my career, but nothing comes close to the experience Springboard provides to its mentors right from day one. Springboard has successfully managed to create a rich, vibrant mentor community where everyone can interact and learn from one another. The most rewarding aspect of being a Springboard mentor is working with mentees for the long term and being a part of their transformational journey. I mentor for the Data Analytics Career Track, and I got to work with mentees who come from unique backgrounds, each with their skills and talents. When a mentee completes the course, you as a mentor get a feeling of accomplishment. I believe this is something only a Springboard mentor can experience and relate to.

Meha Jain, product developer at Now Buildings, Australia

Meha Jain Mentor Advisory Board
  • Why did you decide to join the Springboard mentor advisory board?

I have achieved reasonably well in my professional life and I have always wanted to give back to the community. By joining Springboard as a mentor, I was able to get a head start in that direction. Now that I’m with the Mentor Advisory Board, I am even more empowered to share my ideas with like-minded people and it’s a fulfilling experience to see my ideas come to life and make a positive impact on the lives of my mentees. 

  • What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a Springboard mentor?

I have had an opportunity to coach mentees from totally different walks of life and professional backgrounds. I am glad that I have helped them succeed in changing career paths, and most of them have acquired good jobs.

Peter Nsaka, software engineer at Shopify

Peter Nsaka Mentor Advisory Board
  • Why did you decide to join the Springboard mentor advisory board?

By joining the Springboard Mentor Advisory Board, I saw an opportunity to help improve the strategic initiative of a company considered by thousands to be an industry leader in tech education. Additionally, it served as an opportunity to engage in innovative thought leadership with fellow board members to bring about solutions that enhance the student experience at Springboard.

  • What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a Springboard mentor?

The best part of being a Springboard mentor has been watching growth happen before my eyes! It is impressive to see a determined student on a quest for more knowledge and better skills go through a transformational journey from beginner to hireable in a matter of months. Truly awe-inspiring, I’d say.

Dipanjan Sarkar, lead data scientist at Propulsion Academy Zurich and a Google Developer Expert in Machine Learning

Dipanjan Sarkar Mentor Advisory Board
  • What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a Springboard mentor?

The most rewarding aspect of being a mentor is to be a part of someone’s learning journey in the world of data science and artificial intelligence, and seeing them go from knowing almost nothing to being ready to dive into the industry and solve real-world problems! 

Seeing my past mentees working in leading roles in data science or pursuing research and further education also gives me immense satisfaction.

Julia Wilson, experience design lead at Integrated Supply Network 

Julia Wilson Mentor Advisory Board
  • Why did you decide to join the Springboard mentor advisory board?

I thrive working with other innovators who are skilled at rethinking education and empowering students with the skills to make a rewarding impact in the world.

  • What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a Springboard mentor?

As a mentor, I see students taking risks and creating change in their lives by pursuing an education in an impactful field. I love sharing in that energy and helping students see past their blockers to solve sticky problems and build trust in what they have to offer through their new skills and perspectives.  

How can you become a Springboard mentor? 

If you’re as passionate about mentoring as you are about design, coding or data science, we would love to hear from you! Springboard is always looking for talented, engaged mentors to work one-on-one with our students. 

  • We look for professional and educational qualifications, as well as evidence of technical competence through portfolios and published work.  
  • If you make it through the technical review, we’ll invite you to do a video interview. Here, we assess empathy, communication skills, and passion for your field. 
  • Never mentored before? No problem! You’ll receive guidance and training from us to enhance your mentorship skills. 

If you’d like to become a mentor, you can apply directly at the links below, or join our waiting list where applicable.

Questions? Comments? Reach out to us at mentorrecruiting@springboard.com and we’d be happy to chat!