From a mentee to a mentor: growing career under the Juniorship Program

#Interview
February 4, 2022 5 min read

The story of the professional advancement of Igor Pavlenko, Software Engineer at Innovecs, is no less than a transformation from junior programmer to mentor. He once studied programming under the Juniorship Program at InnoCamp, and now he is helping an intern engineer grow.

Igor’s first acquaintance with Innovecs began during the Summer Internship Program (SIP) in 2019. It was then that he successfully passed the assessment and joined the company as an intern Front-end developer. After successfully completing his studies, he had the opportunity to hone his skills on the company’s commercial project. He later continued to develop as an engineer on other projects, and eventually in 2021 returned to Innovecs as a Software Engineer (React). And that was the second stage of acquaintance with the Juniorship Program internship program but in a different role.

“When a new set of internships was launched, I became interested in turning into a mentor to share my skills and knowledge with someone”, — says Igor. — And I regard it not only as teaching per se but also as the development of own skills as well. This will definitely come in handy if you want to build a career and develop leadership skills”.

Igor is a mentor in the Front-End area. Under the terms of the program, he has one student mentee. Every day they hold a short stand-up call, during which the intern talks about the educational curriculum, reports on what has been done, shares impressions, and indicates bottlenecks.

“It takes about an hour. As a mentor, I have one student, and this is an ideal format that allows you to effectively combine mentoring with your current workflow. During the day I give her tasks according to an individual development plan, and therefore, we solve problems step by step. Now the student has completed the theoretical part and proceeded to the practical one. We have a separate repository, where we carry out code reviews and sort out the diffculties”, — says Igor.

The overall duration of the Juniorship Program is 6 months. Each of the interns chooses a mentor, and the mentor chooses an intern (in case of a perfect match, we form a pair of mentors — all just like in the old “The Dating Game” TV show). Here you can learn remotely. Everyone has their own individual program, which is developed by a mentor. According to Igor, the uniqueness of an individual program is in its variability — everyone gets their own different approach. Of course, the company helps with educational tools, provides an online platform with training courses that can also be used.

As a mentor, Igor discovered new opportunities: “While teaching, I also study. To some extent, this allows you to maintain and deepen the acquired knowledge, and also to learn to communicate not as an ordinary developer, but from the lead’s standpoint. The intern’s understanding and performance depend on the ability to articulate the task clearly. Mentoring allows me to hone my communication skills and ability to find common ground because it is the key to effective teamwork!”.

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