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Introducing Yourself to Your Match

Congratulations, you have been matched in the Women’s TechConnect Program! You should have a received a communication prior to this one, introducing you to your match and providing contact information for one another. If you are receiving this communication and you do not yet know who your match is, please contact us at wtcsupport@nethope.org

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This email is the first of our WTC Connections series. You will be receiving  WTC Connections emails approximately twice per month for the duration of the program. Your match is also receiving these emails.  Our WTC Connections series will help your e-mentoring relationship progress smoothly. It includes topics to discuss, tips on growing your relationship, and other helpful information. Don’t worry, WTC Connections emails typically won’t be as long as this introduction, but we want to get some of the most important info to you right up front.

WHAT DO I DO NEXT?

Well, to have a quality relationship with your match, you must BUILD a relationship and that means communicating with one another on a regular basis.  This introduction will answer some basic questions you may have about how the program works and how you can approach introducing yourselves to each other.

HOW WILL WE COMMUNICATE?

Live interaction is important, so we ask that you schedule a face-to-face Skype/Video chat or audio conference once per month. However, most mentors and protégées, due to time constraints, time zone differences  and other factors will maintain their primary relationship over email. We ask that you exchange meaningful emails at least twice per month. Communicating via email has several advantages:

  • it gives you control over when and how you wish to communicate with one another;
  • it encourages each of you to compose your message thoughtfully rather than inviting immediate response;
  • it can be universally accessible through multiple devices like handhelds; and
  • it is still the standard for business communications and so gives protégés practice in an important professional mode of communication.

WTC CONNECTIONS SERIES – Emails & Monthly Webinars

Over the course of the program, you’ll receive weekly emails from the Women’s TechConnect Team through which we’ll help you and your match cover a wide variety of topics including:

  • Setting Goals
  • Mentor and Protégé best practices for a successful experience
  • Expanding your Professional Network
  • Navigating Work Culture
  • And more…

We’ll also be starting up a monthly webinar series in December, which we ask that you attend live, or listen to the recording after the fact and discuss with your match.

If you would like to suggest topics for the WTC CONNECTIONS weekly email or the webinars, please drop us a line at wtcsupport@nethope.org

MUST I FOLLOW THE WTC CONNECTIONS SUGGESTED TOPICS?

Your relationship is intended to help both the mentor and protégée grow in ways that are most important to you. Feel free to discuss any topic that seems appropriate at the time and postpone suggested topics that do not suit you right now. You can always return to those topics later, when the timing is better.  We’ve found that providing you with some structure and guidance is very helpful but we hope you feel free to take your relationship in creative directions that are most in service of your growth.

THE IMPORTANCE OF REGULAR COMMUNICATIONS

The most successful e-mentoring relationships are those in which the parties communicate on a regular basis. Our weekly prompts will give you something substantive to discuss but a simple “Hi, how are you?” goes a long way. Please also exchange alternative contact info in case you lose touch (Skype sign-in, additional email address). And, if something isn’t working out as you expect, please contact The WTC Team at wtcsupport@nethope.org and we’ll do what we can to provide support.

GET STARTED NOW!

Get started right now getting to know your match by sharing a short bio with each other that covers the following topics:

  • Your name and Location
  • A short summary of your education and work experience in IT
  • Why you are excited to be a participant in the Women’s TechConnect Mentoring Program
  • At least one interesting fact about your personal life
  • Expected Frequency of Communication: This is an important aspect of your relationship to establish up front! Share with each other any time constraints you have around communications. If you can only commit to sending one email every two-weeks and only ever on Thursdays, let your match know.  If you are available more frequently than we suggest and would like to communicate more often, express that and make sure you and your match are on the same page.  And whatever happens, stick to that commitment – your match is counting on you!  If things do change (as they often do), let your match know right away so they aren’t left wondering and you can continue strong relationship building.

Congratulations on taking this step forward. We believe that over the next year, both mentors and protégées will grow tremendously through your Mentoring relationship! We’re also here to support both of you, so reach out to us as necessary at wtcsupport@nethope.org

Next week: Dreams and Goal Setting Part 1

In Partnership with You,

The Women’s TechConnect Team