During Phase 1 of NRMN, two virtual communities were introduced: MyMentor for guided virtual mentoring and MyNRMN for networking. While these two communities provided much-needed resources for the STEM community, we knew there was a way to make them better and easier for the NRMN members to use. Thus, thanks to user feedback and NRMN’s consistent drive to improve, MyMentor has been integrated into MyNRMN creating one NRMN Virtual Community.
One of the best outcomes from this integration is how easy it is to get started in MyMentor. Once you are a member of NRMN and set up your MyNRMN profile, simply select “MyMentor” from the side panel and “Join”. Additionally, mentees are able to select the path of discussion prompts that will be most applicable to them (e.g. Undergraduate, Post Baccalaureate, Graduate, Post Doctoral, or Jr. Faculty) to use during their mentoring connection. In the previous MyMentor platform, mentees and mentors had the option to use the existing discussion prompts, ignore the existing discussion prompts, or create their own. For the integrated MyMentor, we have updated the discussion prompts to reflect a SMART Goal format and enabled each prompt to be completely editable. Users can change the language of the prompt, change the deadline, and add in anything that will customize the prompt specifically to their needs; plus, each member of the connection still has the option to create their own goals as well. And best of all, there is no official end date for when the mentoring connection will close. Each mentoring connection ends when all of the goals have been completed, so each pair can remain matched for as long (or short) as they wish.
Another benefit of integrating MyMentor into MyNRMN is that now mentoring connections can communicate seamlessly within MyNRMN without using external or personal platforms (i.e. personal phone numbers or Skype). While in a connection, members can utilize the virtual meeting space, IM, exchange messages, and leave comments for each other in the various fields provided during each step throughout the connection.
During Phase 1 of NRMN, we discovered that some groups, organizations, societies, and institutions could benefit from setting up their own exclusive guided virtual mentoring environment in the MyMentor platform. Now that we have integrated into MyNRMN, we are still hosting exclusive environments and now they’ll have added benefit of being a part of MyNRMN. In these environments (or “programs”) as we’re calling them in MyNRMN, organizations can customize their content, goal timelines, and provided resources as well as introduce their users to the NRMN network and all of the features available within MyNRMN. If you’re interested in learning more about setting up your own MyMentor program, I would be happy to answer any questions or provide a demonstration (reach out to me at INFO@nrmnet.net).
In addition to hosting MyMentor, MyNRMN still has all of its networking resources available to the NRMN community (13,000+ members and still growing!). In case you’re new to NRMN or just haven’t stepped into the virtual community yet, here are some of the other features that MyNRMN has to offer:
- Ask a Mentor – users can post a question or comment to the entire MyNRMN community rather than seeking a single, specific mentor or mentee
- Virtual Meeting – use this space to meet virtually with anyone in your connections. Set an appointment in the My Calendar for the both of you (or your group!) to meet at a particular time; the location is MyNRMN!
- MyJournals – use this as your personal blog space to either write to your connections or share with the MyNRMN community. In this space you can share articles, images, links, and/or your own personal thoughts and ideas
- MyGroups – join a group of like-minded individuals or create your own! The groups can be public, private, invite only, or just display announcements. Each group also has its own unique URL that can be shared for easy access to content and updates
- My CV/Resume – Use this to either upload your CV or go through the step-by-step process to create your own. Each CV created generates a unique URL (like an ORCID iD) and is downloadable to a PDF format
We are so happy to continue being a part of your lives in NRMN Phase 2 and I personally am looking forward to the possibilities of this network as we continue to improve and evolve with the STEM community. We are constantly looking for ways to cater to the unique needs of this community and the best resource we have for finding this information is you. Please feel free to reach out with any questions, requests, or insights. You can email me at INFO@nrmnet.net, use the “Need Help?” request with MyNRMN at the top of the screen or the “Send Feedback” in MyNRMN at the bottom of the screen.
Written By: Katie Stinson
Virtual Engagement Strategist, NRMN
Edited By: Alexis Short & Damaris Javier