Mentorship Program

We in Games Finland Mentorship Program

Registration is now!

The We in Games Mentorship Program is one of our initiatives that concretely make the game industry of Finland more diverse!

Our Mentorship Program is organised once a year. During the Program, we pair participating mentors and mentees for 3-month one-to-one mentorships. We offer tools and learning materials, training for the mentors, as well as peer support and networking sessions with other participants of the program. 

All members of We in Games Finland can seek mentorship through the program. Mentorships are a great way to learn and grow at any stage of your career, be it starting up or leveling up!

We’re also looking for volunteer game industry mentors, both from the WiGFi community and beyond, to help our members reach their potential. If you’re looking for a way to give back in the industry and learn new things, mentoring is a great way to do that! 

Our third round of Mentorships is about to start. Read on for more information.
Welcome to participate in the We in Games Mentorship Program!

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“I've participated in the mentorship program twice and it's been an amazing experience! My first round was about self-esteem, stress and time management, and the second one was more about programmer's life, finding a new job and getting to know yourself as a professional. I definitely recommend participating especially to new starters in the industry as it's always hard at the beginning. I've definitely learned about the industry, about myself and about my work way more than I expected!"
- Valerija Nikulina

Round 3 information

We are kicking off our third round of the Program in March 2021. Registration is open 15.2.–28.2. and the program will run until mid-June. After June, the mentorships can continue to optional Phase 2 with additional mentorship sessions, if the mentor-mentee pairs want to continue.

The registration is open for both mentees and volunteer mentors! 

You can register by filling out the form at weingames.fi/mentorship2021-signup by February 28th.

We will contact everyone who signed up with information on the next steps on March 1st 2021. Everyone will receive an invitation to our Kick-off session. All volunteer mentors will also receive an invitation to our Mentor Training.

Important dates in Round 3

15.–28.2.
Sign-up form is open
11.3.
Program Kick-off
18.3.
Mentor training
late March
Match introductions and instructions on next steps will be sent to matched mentors and mentees via e-mail
March–June
Mentor-mentee pairs will have a minimum of 3 sessions
during April
Casual get-together for mentees
mid-June
Mentorship Program wrap-up session
June–October
Optional Phase 2, mentorships will continue with additional sessions

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“I really enjoyed WiGFi's Mentoring Program as a mentor. They did a wonderful job with the pairing, at least in my case, and I've had many interesting conversations with my mentee. I do believe we've both gained a lot from the experience.”
– Emma Varjo

What is the Mentorship Program?

The We in Games Finland Mentorship Program aims to support our members’ professional development by offering a  lightly structured program that carefully pairs the members looking for mentorships with volunteer mentors from the games industry.

Mentorships are a powerful method in any stage of one’s career.

You might be a student building your professional skill set or a person looking for their first game industry job, and looking for support and guidance from someone who’s already working in the industry. You might already work in the industry, looking to level up your career or gain a better understanding of your strengths and development areas, or you might be at professional crossroads, looking for guidance on taking the next steps.

You might be in a more senior level, looking to widen your responsibilities, or an entrepreneurial spirit looking to start your own company and getting advice from someone who’s been through the same challenges that you will soon face.

Mentorship can give you support, guidance, perspective and direction, and it’s great at any stage of your career.

In the beginning of the mentorship, mentees will define a focus or a goal. Mentees will then be paired with a volunteer mentor who works in the game industry. Volunteer mentors support and empower the mentees to work towards their goals during 3+ mentorship sessions. In the sessions, a mentor will facilitate a conversation, give advice and answer the mentee’s questions, or take more of a coaching approach and ask questions or empower the mentee to find the answers to their questions from within themselves.

Mentoring is an excellent way to learn, grow, network and give back. It can help with developing one’s people or communication skills, or even help gain a better understanding of their own aspirations and the value of their own skills.

If you’re someone who’s about to take the mentor’s role for the first time in their career, we offer training, materials and support to get you started!

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“Mentoring is one of the most rewarding experiences. I take away as much as the mentee if not more. And seeing my mentee’s success gives me an enormous sense of pride”
– Diana Kalenova

FAQ

HOW OFTEN IS THE PROGRAM ORGANIZED?
We currently organize the program once a year, starting in Q1 of each year.

WHERE IS THE PROGRAM ORGANIZED?
The program is currently organized as fully virtual.

HOW DO I SIGN UP?
Registration for the Program is open for about 2 weeks, and the link is distributed in our Facebook group, a WiGFi newsletter and other SoMe channels.

Registration to the 2021 Mentorship is open 15.2.-28.2.2021 at weingames.fi/mentorship2021-signup.

WHO CAN JOIN AS A MENTEE?
Mentorship opportunity is available for all official members of We in Games Finland Ry.
You can apply to become a member at weingames.fi/membership.

WHAT DOES IT COST TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM?
The program is free. Participating mentees do have to be official members of We in Games Finland to participate. The membership fee is 10 euros a year.

WHO CAN VOLUNTEER AS A MENTOR?
Our only requirements for mentors are that you work in the game industry and can volunteer your time with a mentee for at least 3 mentorship sessions. You don’t have to be an official member of We in Games Finland Ry to volunteer your time with us.

I’M QUITE BUSY, BUT STILL INTERESTED TO VOLUNTEER AS A MENTOR. HOW MUCH TIME ARE MENTORS EXPECTED TO DEDICATE TO THE MENTORSHIP?
Mentoring is a valuable way to invest your time, and we’re trying to build the program so it is possible to mentor even if you have a busy life! The minimum time dedication from all mentors is 3 mentorship sessions between March and June, usually running between 45 and 90 minutes per session.

Everything beyond that is agreed upon between the mentor and mentee. Some mentors prefer minimal communication between the mentorship sessions, some prefer to keep communication open during the mentorship – and afterwards! The best way is one which fits your schedule and life.

In addition to the one-to-one sessions, mentors have the option to participate in one 2-hour Mentor Training and two 2-hour group sessions: Kick-off and Wrap-up. Participating in the sessions is recommended but not mandatory.

HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD MENTEES DEDICATE?
Mentees will dedicate time for the mentorship sessions, but also for working towards their goals between the sessions.

A mentor will support and empower you to fulfil your potential, but you are the person who ultimately does the work. The benefits of mentorship depend on the amount of time you are able to dedicate to thinking, learning, researching, experimenting or working between the sessions. If it feels difficult to do that, or you feel stuck, don’t worry, it happens to everyone! The mentors receive training and materials to help get mentees unstuck, so you can dedicate a session to that.

HOW ARE THE PROGRAMME’S PARTICIPANTS CHOSEN?
Everyone who registers for the Program will receive an invitation to the kick-off event. After the kick-off event, organizers will go through everyone who registered and make the mentor-mentee matches.

Each mentor will be paired with one mentee, so the number of participants on each round depends entirely on the number of registrations and the number of matches we are able to make. If there are mentees who are left without a mentor, we will attempt to recruit a mentor from the WiGFi community, but a pairing is not guaranteed.

HOW ARE MENTORS AND MENTEES PAIRED?
Mentor-mentee pairings are done after the kick-off event by the Mentorship Program organizers. We review and match mentors with mentees based on preferences, skills and expectations. To make the matches, we will use the information from two sources:

  1. The answers from the Sign-up form
  2. Mentor/mentee Wish list form, an optional form for the Kick-off event participants

HOW DOES THE ONE-TO-ONE MENTORSHIP WORK?
After organizers have made the mentor-mentee matches, introduction emails are sent to the matched participants. The mentor and mentee will take it from there, agree to the schedules of their sessions, boundaries of mentorship (i.e. is it OK to ask for advice/send messages between sessions, which topics are OK) etc. In the first session, pairs are expected to figure out these rules and boundaries by filling out the Mentorship Agreement and discussing the prompts presented in it.

Participants will gain access to Mentorship resources. Resources for mentees include self-assessment materials, a learning journal, worksheets, and a mentorship session checklist. Materials for mentors include powerful questions and discussion prompt, goal setting materials and a session note template. The resources can be used as supporting materials to structure the mentorship if desired.

The sessions are confidential between the parties, and the organizers won’t ask of any reports or summaries of the session topics. The organizers will occasionally send out surveys asking about the mentorship experience and learnings, but won’t inquire any details about the mentorship topics themselves. 

If there’s any breach of trust, Mentorship Agreement or the WiGFi Code of Conduct, please contact mentorship@weingames.fi.

WHAT IF I’VE BEEN MATCHED WITH A MENTOR OR MENTEE, BUT I DON’T LIKE THE MATCHING?
It can happen. Just contact us and we’ll figure something out!

WRAPPING UP THE MENTORSHIP
The Mentorship Program rounds end with a wrap-up session, but the one-to-one mentorships can continue after it. Mentor–mentee pairs can agree to continue mentorships to an optional Phase 2, with additional mentorship sessions after the program wrap-up. 

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROGRAMME?
You can follow the We in Gamed Finland Facebook page for news and updates.

For direct inquiries, please send an email to mentorship@weingames.fi

MENTORSHIP TEAM
The Program is lead by community volunteer Salla Hiiskoski, with the help of WiGFi Board Members Barbara Leal, Essi Jukkala and Felicia Prehn.