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Update on the STC Carolina Mentoring Program
2015, Q2 (February 17, 2015)
By Ann-Marie Grissino, STC Fellow


In September 2014, STC Carolina launched the STC Carolina Mentoring Program and Mentoring Database, where professionals can connect to establish mentor/mentee relationships that foster personal and professional growth.

In September, we hosted a Mentor session hosted by Stan Dicks at North Carolina State University, where we had approximately 25 mentors who visited with about 30 mentees. The session used a speed-dating format, where mentees spent five minutes with a mentor to see if the mentor might be a good fit for them. By the time that the session was over, the mentors were exhausted but still smiling. As one mentor said, “It was fun to be a part of the mentoring evening!”


As of January 2015, we have 22 mentors listed in our mentoring database who are available for mentees.

Here is a report of web site traffic from October 1st to December 31st, 2014:
  • Sessions: 341. This represents the set of interactions from a visitor within a specific time.
  • Users: 94. This means that there were 94 unique visitors to the site.
  • Page views: 667. This indicates the total number of pages that visitors viewed on the site.
  • Pages per session: 1.96. This means that visitors viewed nearly two pages of the site during each visit.
  • Average session duration: 00:01:30. This means that visitors on average spent about 1.5 minutes on the site.
  • Percentage of new sessions: 25%. This is an interesting fact. 75% of the visitors return to the site.

Mentor listings

Each mentor can include the following in his or her mentor listing:
  • Skills
  • Background
  • STC membership
  • Contact information and preferences
  • Meeting preferences
  • Location for meetings

Mentors can list areas that they can help with by selecting among the following skills:
  • Content strategy
  • CSS
  • DITA
  • Editing
  • Electronic publishing
  • Government writing
  • Graphic design
  • Hard-copy documents
  • Hardware documentation
  • Information architecture
  • Marketing communications
  • Medical writing
  • Online help
  • Process documentation
  • Project management
  • Scientific writing
  • Software documentation
  • Structured authoring
  • Training/courseware
  • Usability
  • Web design and development
  • XML
STC Carolina Mentoring Database
The STC Carolina Mentoring Database

Stories and quotes from Mentees

Here are some stories and quotes from our mentees.
  • One mentor said: “I have a mentee and we have conversed on the phone, via email and in person. He has attended a STC meeting. As he is graduated this semester from ECU, he is looking for any job searching advice and ways to volunteer/network. I hope to get him more involved on a volunteer basis once he has graduated and is in the area.”
  • A mentee told his mentor this: “… I appreciate the advice you gave me last semester.”
  • The NCSU mentees “enjoyed hearing about the mentors’ career patterns and were surprised how many people have transitioned from tech comm work to some other kind.”
  • Another mentee lives in South Carolina and wanted to know what this DITA thing is. After corresponding with a mentor and obtaining information about the DITA workshop in October, she drove up from SC and attended the workshop.

Some mentees have contacted mentors by email and made comments such as these:
  • “Are you planning on having a similar event later this year?”
  • “It's really helpful to have an experienced person to turn to for guidance.”
  • “I'm making a career switch and would like advice.”
  • “I am a first-year graduate student in the Technical Communication program at NC State. I am interested in the mentoring program.” This mentee wanted to know more about science writing, so we connected him with one of our science writing colleagues and another colleague at NASA.
  • “I would like to be able to learn all the skills and tools needed to have a career in tech comm. I'm interested in software documentation, training/course material, DITA, and structured writing. Any help or guidance that you are able to provide for me to get my foot in the door would be great.”
  • “I've been contemplating an STC membership for a while now. I'm going to get one right away.”

Give Something Back and Become a Mentor!

Serving as a mentor can help you direct your future, expand your professional network, gain knowledge and perspective on the workplace, and deliver tremendous personal satisfaction. If you are interested in being a mentor, sign up for the new mentoring program. There is no set time requirement and might only require a few hours each month.

Ann-Marie Grissino can be reached at Ann-Marie dot Grissino at netapp dot com. Read more articles by Ann-Marie. End of article.

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