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What is the background of Springboard Career Coaches and how does their role differ from that of a mentor?

Students in Springboard Career Track programs are well-supported through regular calls with two types of professionals: a mentor and a career coach. 

The mentor (that's you!) is the guide for each student’s technical learning, and the career coach is the guide for the student’s career learning and journey. Students may find it useful to discuss their career goals and concerns with their mentor, who can offer personal perspective, and students may discuss technical job search topics with their career coach, as the two roles complement each other with different emphasis areas. 

Expertise of Career Coaches vs. Mentors:

Career Coach Mentor
Job search processes (including interviewing), best practices, and methods in technology disciplines in general Technical subject-matter expertise in the content of the course itself (eg. data science, digital marketing, or cybersecurity)
Very familiar with job search from the perspective of supporting many job seekers in technology careers at various levels. Know what recruiters look for, how internal processes work and may also have recruitment expertise. Generally familiar with job search from their own perspective and experience either hiring or job searching on their own                                                                                                                                                                                                 


Discussion topics with students during calls:

Career Coach Mentor
Job search process.
Technical questions and clarifying understanding.                                                                                                                      
Job search preparation.
Portfolio review and coding/project work review.
Interview prep (for behavioral and screening interviews especially).
Interview prep (for technical interviews especially).
Job search strategy, including whether a type/level of job is appropriate for your background, location, and industry.
Whether a type/level of job is appropriate for your background, interests, knowledge, and skills.
Troubleshooting issues with your job search or application process
Best conferences, events, or thought leaders in your field.
LinkedIn profile review. LinkedIn profile review.
Resume and cover letter review. Questions about your career path/day-to-day.
Managing needs around life/career.
Career decision making (e.g. What do I want? What should I choose?).
Offer negotiation and salary information.


What should I do if I disagree with the advice a Career Coach is giving my mentee?

  • Keep your mentee's best interest at top of mind. What would help them move forward at this point?
  • Try to understand the importance of the advice given by the career coach. 
  • Dig deeper into what the real conflict is, in your mentee’s mind.
  • Reflect upon how (and why) your own advice is different, for example: 
    • Is it possible that your advice comes from your own personal experience (which may be an edge case)? 
    • Is it because X industry is fundamentally different from Y industry? 
    • Is the Career Coach's advice generally good advice but not for this particular student & her circumstances (or vice versa)?
  • Help move your mentee towards understanding and integrating the different points of view - to make her own decision and own it.
  • If there is clearly wrong/inaccurate/incomplete or misleading information that your mentee has received, notify Springboard to help troubleshoot and improve (mentors@springboard.com).
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