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Galaxy Mentor Network: Reset

Logo for Galaxy Mentor Network

We launched the Galaxy Mentor Network one year ago with the idea to onboard new members in the community.

Now, one year later, we realize that we failed. We are really sorry for all applicants that could not be matched with mentors and also for all mentors for the loss of their valuable time.

We still believe in the power that the Galaxy Mentor Network could have to reshape the Galaxy Community, and, in that spirit, we would like to relaunch the Galaxy Mentor Network with a new matching process.

Current (not working) matching process

When a new application comes in, the Network Managers would

  • Format the new application
  • Scan the new application and decide if it fits to the program
  • Share it with the GMentors

Then, ideally a GMentor selects the GMentee and the Network Managers send mails to the GMentee(s) and GMentors to introduce them to each other. And the mentoring can start.

In reality, the Network Managers had difficulties to

  • Find the time to prepare and scan applications outside the meetings, which were difficult to schedule and so really irregular
  • Find the best way to engage mentors in reviewing applications

    • Format: using the chat or using external document which can easily get forgotten
    • Timing: request usually send on Friday afternoon and without time limit for reviews

After one year, only 3 applicants were matched with mentors, which is below our expectations of the project. Because of this roadblock, we will be pivoting to a new method for matching mentors and mentees.

New matching process

We will try to take into account the reality that everybody (including the Network Managers) is busy and nobody is working only on the Galaxy Mentor Network.

So, instead of trying to scan and send applications on the fly, we would like to use a timeframe of 2 months (which also corresponds to the duration of the program).

People can apply whenever they want, like a rolling admission. But the Network Manager will only process applications every 2 months. Our process will change as well. We will:

  • Format the application
  • Scan them, possibly rejecting the ones where the expectations are too large, not timely or could be done by following some training or are a pure research/data analysis project
  • Copy interesting applications into a Google document
  • Share the Google document with GMentors and give them 2 weeks to express their interest

    • If a GMentor expresses interest, the Network Managers will connect them with their GMentee match
    • If no one expresses interest within a 2 week time frame, we will contact potential GMentors and encourage the match

Next steps

To apply the new matching process, we'd like to start fresh by:

  • Creating a new Google form for application (with the same questions as before)
  • Updating the website to explain the new matching process
  • Contacting all previous applicants, apologizing and inviting them to re-apply if they are still interested

We hope that the new matching process will help the program to really work in a sustainable way, so that the community can utilize this tool to continue to flourish and grow.