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Out in Tech U’s Mentorship Program

 

Out in Tech U’s Mentorship Program pairs LGBTQ+ youth aged 17-24 with tech professionals from Out in Tech’s membership. Each mentee will learn a mix of technical and professional skills needed for launching a successful career.

  • Our admissions team makes sure to create pairs that make the most sense for our mentees. They work together to create fun and inspiring projects, attend panel discussions to hear from other tech professionals, and build lasting relationships based on mutual respect and interests.

    Our program is entirely virtual and open to residents all over the United States.

    Our Spring 2021 Cohort starts in March. We’re accepting expressions of interest now!

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The Need-To-Knows

  • It's Free

    No joke! Thanks to our amazing sponsors and partners, the program is free.

  • Open + Inclusive

    We primarily work with queer, questioning, and trans youth, but allies and friends are welcome, too!

  • Develop a Project

    Each pair will work on a project to present at graduation.

  • Program Duration

    The program duration is 8 weeks, with a kickoff and graduation.

  • Weekly Commitment

    For 2 hours each week, mentees and mentors connect.

  • Professional Development

    At least 2 events during the cohort to meet other tech professionals.

Hear From Previous Mentors + Mentees

  • Being an Out in Tech mentor was an honor and learning experience I’ll never forget. I was able to help others by sharing my personal experiences as a Product professional coming out, but more importantly, I got a first row seat to watch an inspiring next generation of queer tech talent show off their strength, ambition and pride. It made me hopeful and excited for a future with more LGBTQ+ leaders in it!

    Simone Barsky, Mentor Fall 2019
  • Out in Tech's Mentorship program is great for young professionals who have the drive and need a little more direction. Whether you need help building specific technical skills or networking with others who have similar interests as you, the program is flexible to your own needs. My mentor helped me make an idea come to life, and now I can add it to my lists of projects in my professional portfolio. This is what makes us stand out. Out in Tech let's you connect to professionals across the nation. It's more than a professional program -- you make friends, and community is everything to me."

    Angelica, Mentee Fall 2019
  • After participating in the Out in Tech Youth Mentorship program as a mentee, I was so eager to have a mentee of my own. Out In Tech paired me with someone who I can only describe as a perfect match. Sama and I instantly clicked. Not only do our career aspirations overlap, so do our personalities and outlooks on the world. We would talk for hours and hours, and as cheesy as it sounds, she taught me just as much as I taught her. We continue to meet on a regular basis, and I feel honored to get to watch as this incredible young person changes the world."

    Ruby, Mentee Fall 2018, Mentor Fall 2019
  • As a college student, I am grateful for the opportunity to take part in OIT U's Mentorship Program. My mentor Ruby and I created everlasting memories, I enjoyed our Friday evenings at Starbucks getting to know each other over a cup of coffee. While conversing with my mentor, I was able to expand my wealth of knowledge, hound down my professional skills, and develop my confidence in a career in tech. Having her beside me makes it feel like the sky's the limit and I can achieve anything!"

    Ummaromana, Mentee Fall 2019

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

Anyone between the ages of 17-24 is welcome to apply to be a mentee. We encourage any students interested in programming, data, or design to apply (and no previous experience or coursework is necessary to apply). Those applying for the NYC mentorship program should live in the New York Metro area. Remote mentees can be anywhere.

When can I apply?

The official applications for Spring 2021 will open in December 2020. You can already express your interest, and we'll be in touch when the applications open.

How many hours per week should I expect to commit?

Mentors are expected to commit approximately 3 hours per week, with 2 hours dedicated to meeting with your mentee (these can be blocked together, or as two 1-hour sessions). One hour is dedicated to developing students’ career-oriented skills to prepare them for the working world (e.g., information about career paths, interviewing skills, and resume building); the second hour is dedicated to building the student’s project (see below for more information).

If accepted as a mentor, what are my immediate next steps?

Paired mentors will need to complete a background check in order to work with students. We will provide more information when that process begins.

What does the matching process look like?

Mentors and mentees will identify areas of interest and go through interviews with members of Out in Tech. Based on the application and those conversations, the Out in Tech U Admissions team will make the final pairings.

What type of mentors are you seeking?

For mentors, ideal candidates will be experienced STEM professionals comfortable helping students with small technical projects. However, we welcome volunteers from a broad range of tech-related fields, including sales, marketing, design, etc.

Who designs the curriculum?

Out in Tech will provide a suggested skeletal outline of topics and activities to cover during your mentoring sessions. However, mentors and mentees are encouraged to use their creativity to build on this, dedicating time on particular areas of mutual interest and expertise. Mentors and mentees will spend time each week developing both functional and career-oriented skills for a future in tech.

How do you decide on a project for the mentees?

Mentees will be asked to work on a small project that they expect to complete in eight weeks. They will then have the opportunity to present their projects as part of the program’s graduation. Mentors should guide initial project selection, and can help refine or modify projects, as necessary, throughout the program.

Where do the meetups happen?

If you’re selected for the NYC Mentorship program, mentor/mentee meet-ups will ideally be done in-person, at a time and place of mutual choosing. At least 2 events will be hosted at various sites around the city — dates/locations are still to be determined.

The majority of participants are part of the digital program, which means that all meetups between mentors and mentees will be done virtually (as well as a series of digital events throughout the 8 weeks).

Who provides the necessary technology (laptops, software, etc)?

This is a case-by-case situation. Some students may have their own laptops on which to work on their projects. For NYC-based students without, we may ask mentors to bring a laptop with them to mentoring sessions. Either way, Out in Tech is committed to ensuring every student and mentor has the necessary equipment to be successful in the program.

What if I'm not out, am I able to apply?

Of course! Out in Tech understands and respects the decisions of all its members, and will always withhold any public marketing or sharing of information at your discretion.