Looking for a mentor


#1

Hello guys, so I am 18 and I started with UX/UI design,

I landed intership(not paid) in one small startup. I think about loking for mentor that can help me with becoming better UX/UI designer, I feel that I got little stuck at this point. I have few questions, first one is where I should look for mentor? Second one is there any way to find mentor that willing to help you for free? And third is what extactly should mentor help you with? I would like to make connection with my mentor and not only pull info. from him.

Thanks


#2

Greetings :),
It’s neat that you are getting into UX so early on, lots of opportunity to grow. Starting with startups is definitely a place to start, although slightly more difficult if you do not have much knowledge in the area. Books, online articles, and forums will be your friends!

From my experience there are a few different ways to find mentors, but it does differ depending on where you are from.
My mentors have been those I’ve been working with. They have a lot of knowledge, and are really happy to share it, and because we work together cost comes down to my willingness to learn and apply this knowledge to the work we are completing. Most in the UX community really would like to see it grow and expand, so tend to be willing to share their knowledge, or point you in the right direction.

You can also find communities near you online and ask on them if anyone would be willing to regularly catch up for a coffee, on you generally, to talk about things that you’ve been working on and finding difficult, or any questions you may have.
I’m not sure about the sharing connection, as most of the time mentors are there to help you, but I’m sure you could ask your mentor whether there was anything that you could do to contribute to the relationship as well. It could just be that when you gain enough knowledge you make yourself available to mentor someone :).

Hope this helps.


#3

Agreed


#4

Hi designo,

Welcome! :slight_smile:

The forums and the other resources on UX Mastery are a fantastic place to start. This is a place where there is no such thing as a silly question and you can learn a lot! :slight_smile:

I did an internship too. Mine was for a private company in their sales and marketing department. I did it to learn new skills and branch out from there. After that I entered a graduate program as a designer.

As for mentors I’m a lot like Natalie - I tend to find them at work. It usually just sort of happens too. Following the graduate program, I was given an ‘official’ mentor of my choosing.I chose someone close to my team who is not from a UX background so I could get a different perspective on my career. She’s pretty awesome.

I do have my UX mentors too - my supervisor and my director are both amazing. My director and I go for almond croissants every Thursday morning where we catch up and chat about UX stuff.

My third UX mentor is someone who recently left our team. We go for walks around the city and chat and he sends me UX related articles that I might find interesting. These mentoring relationships are the ones I just sort of fell into. I try not to over think it - I just reach out to people and ask questions.


#5

Hey designo,
Welcome on board. I’ll get this post tweeted out to our audience in the hope that someone can help you out. Where are you based?


#6

Good to have you here, designo! I reckon you’re off to a great start by looking for a mentor early in your career. Along with your curiosity and initiative, it’ll steer you in the right directions.

To add to what Natalie and ASHM have said, you can try searching for a local IxDA or [URL=“https://uxpa.org/chapters-sigs-by-region”]UXPA chapter, or [URL=“http://ux.meetup.com/”]UX-related meetup. If you let us know whereabouts you are we might be able to point you somewhere.

Hopefully you can come across someone local that you can catch up with, but if you really are going solo in your city then reaching out with questions to someone via Twitter, posting here in the forums (and elsewhere online) might establish a relationship with someone you can then take more time with, potentially via Skype. I think the accountability and proximity of having someone local is far better, but it’s not unheard of to have a remote mentor.

It’d also be fantastic to hear the story behind how you found yourself starting your work life in UX, if you’re up for it? You can post it over in the UX Stories section.

Welcome! =)


#7

I’m interested in this thread and follow-ups. Like designo, I am entering UX, unlike designo, I am not 18. I have about 25 years of experience in design for print, web design and development, marketing, and advertising. So I have my skill sets and experience but lack the other fundamentals for UX–mainly the formal qualitative research, study, and data analysis. While self-educating and beginning to figure out what my portfolio might consist of, I am trying to heed the advice of every expert–find a mentor. So far I have reached out to two local UX’ers with a simple request to have lunch (or breakfast or dinner–my treat) so that I can ask some questions about UX as a career. My hope was that my invitation would be accepted and maybe the discussion could lead to some level of mentoring. Neither of my invitations was even acknowledged. No response whatsoever. A bit discouraging considering the sparse availability of UX professionals in the US North East. Anyway, I’m interested in how best to approach a potential mentor. I know everyone is busy, but a free lunch? How is that too much to ask?


#8

Welcome to you also, PeregrineDesign, it’s great to have you here.

You make a really interesting point… everyone is busy, and is a free lunch too much to ask? I guess we’d all like to think that it’s not, but I guess people these days are really selfish with their time, and they would figure that you have an ulterior motive. It’s a real shame though. Helping someone out makes us feel so good when we actually do it, why don’t we do it more?

Anyway, my advice to you would be to start a new thread in this section requesting a mentor. I’m going to mention it in my next Community Roundup email, which should get some eyes onto it, but it may get a bit lost down here in this thread. Once you’ve done that, we’ll tweet it out for you. :slight_smile:

Best of luck.


#9

Hello people, soory for responding soo late. I had problem with internet, my router died so I had to wait for new one. I am located in Serbia, Europe. So I guess I should look for someone who would like to do video call over skype, I wouldn’t bother with my mentor. I just would like to speak about UX stuff generaly and maybe sometimes when I have specific problem 30-60 minutes each week…


#10

@designo - It looks like there is an IxDA group in Belgrade: http://www.ixda.org/local/ixda-belgrade It may or may not be very close to you, but they’ll be familiar with the local UX industry and will hopefully have email lists and other ways you can stay in touch, as well as possibly having some connections in the local UX network.

@peregrinedesign - I know what you mean about free lunches! In that case it might help if you participate in any local industry groups they’re involved in, demonstrate that you’re very willing to give back and help others too, and that you’re around for the long haul. Once more of a relationship is established you might try asking them again (or any other people you meet along the way too).


#11

@HAWK - thanks for the suggestion and offer. At this point I was hoping for a local person for a real face-face talk as I roll into this bend in my career path. At some point soon I may be looking online for a remote mentoring option.

@Lukcha - good suggestion. I’m in that catch-22 of having an established life with many bills to pay so volunteering is not so easy for me, but I’m going to have to figure out how to be ‘out there’ for exposure. I appreciate the advice.