Membership now means Mentorship!
Our newest perk offers a great professional development opportunity whether you are a veteran or a newbie in the museum tech community. Participation in the MCN Mentorship program helps you grow your professional network, build leadership skills, practice personal communication strategies, and much more. Lasting only 9 months but requiring regular commitments of time and energy, there is no better (or more fun) way to discuss and plan your career goals than with a trusted partner who can give you quality feedback from an objective POV. Our program is flexible, and we have space for every kind of person, so if you are interested in working in a peer-to-peer structure rather than a traditional senior/junior pairing that’s welcome too. The deadline to apply for the 2018 MCN Mentorship program has passed and we no longer accept applications. Next opening period will be November 2018 for the 2019 Mentorship program.
Don’t believe it? Ask one of our pioneer participants from the 2017 class:
- Greg Albers (Digital Publications Manager, J. Paul Getty Trust) with Caitlin Kearney (Digital Content Developer, The Field Museum)
- Douglas Hegley (Director of Media and Technology, Minneapolis Institute of Art) with Andrea Ledesma (Research Associate at the Digital Public Library of America)
- Tim Svenonius (Senior Content Strategist, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) with Rachel Ropeik (Manager of Public Engagement, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum)
- Charlotte Sexton (Director, Charlotte Sexton Associates) with Rachel Rabinowitz (Visitor Services Coordinator, Historic London Town and Gardens)
- Kelsey Johnston (Social Media Specialist, National Aquarium) with Keir Winesmith (Head of Digital at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)
- Darren Milligan (Senior Digital Strategist, Center for Learning and Digital Access, Smithsonian Institution) with Laura Hoffman (Manager of K-12 of Digital and Educator Initiatives, The Phillips Collection)
- Liz Neely (Senior Director of Integrated Content, AAM) with Erin Harper (Multimedia Producer, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)
- Tina Shah (Senior Developer, Art Institute of Chicago) with Sara Cardello (Educational Specialist, Smithsonian Libraries)
- Brendan Ciecko (CEO @ Cuseum) with Sean Blinn (Jacobus Vanderveer House and Museum)
- Scott Sayre (Chief Digital Officer, Corning Museum of Glass) with Desi Gonzalez (Manager of Digital Engagement, Warhol Museum) and Susan Wigodner (Web and Digital Project Manager, The Field Museum)
Membership Program Q&As
Do I need to be a member of MCN to participate in the mentorship program?
Yes, MCN’s mentorship program is exclusively reserved for current MCN members and you must provide your Membership ID on the application form. Your Membership ID can be found on your Member Profile).
What are my chances of being successful paired?
This will vary year-to-year depending on the ratio of mentor to mentee applicants and areas of interest/experience but our goal is to pair as many of the applicants as possible. Making a compelling case and being as clear as possible about your interests and expectations will really help us achieve a good match.
How much time should I expect to devote to this program?
The program will run from January-November 2018. There will be an hour-long orientation (via video conference) at the beginning of the program to help set expectations and provide guidance for how to get the most out of your participation. Each mentor/mentee pair is expected to meet at least once a month for at least one hour. Both mentors and mentees should also build in time to prepare for meetings and reflect afterwards. Finally, the Mentorship Program Managers will ask for feedback (usually in the form of surveys or a virtual conference call) two to three times over the course of the program.
Should I apply to be a mentor or mentee?
This is probably the most difficult question for potential participants who are mid-career professionals. With five or more years of experience you feel as though you have a lot to offer someone who has only been in the field for a year or two. On the other hand, if you are considering a transition or looking to move forward in your career you likely feel like you could really use the advice of a senior-level mentor. There is no right answer but we encourage you to consider what you hope to accomplish career-wise in the next 1-2 years and decide which role will better help you achieve your goals. Or you might want to consider a peer-to-peer mentorship partnership (see below).
What is a peer-to-peer mentorship partnership?
A peer-to-peer mentorship relationship occurs when two people who are roughly equal levels of development in their career path are paired together. This is different than the more traditional pairing of a senior level individual with a junior level mentor. The benefits of a peer-to-peer relationship are that you can meet another person who may be facing similar or different career challenges as you are and can provide some objective feedback about options or decision making. This can be great if you are the only person in your institution who works on digital or similar areas and you are looking to grow your network of individuals who are at your same level.
Will I be able to meet with my partner in person or will all of our meetings be online?
Because of the wide geographic range of MCN community most pairs will not be in the same city or even same geographic region (although we do try to pair people in the same time zones). As a result you should plan on virtual meetings as your primary mode of communication with your partner. We do encourage you to check and see if you are attending the same conferences or meetings for a chance to meet in person during the program.
Do I get something tangible out of participating in the program?
While MCN provides a framework to pair members of the community to engage in this program, it cannot guarantee a specific outcome. The value for each participant will generally depend on their respective effort and be proportionate to the investment of time put into it.
MCN will also provide a certification of completion for all participants who finish the entirety of the program, which we hope will be useful for professional development purposes.
Note that the MCN Mentorship Program follows our Friendly Space Policy.
Do you have other questions? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mentors and mentees are selected through an application process.
- For senior/junior pairings, mentors are understood to be professionals with more than five years experience in the sector. Mentees are students and emerging professionals (< 5 years experience).
- Peer-to-peer mentorship participants can be in either of these categories, but must be at approximately the same point in their careers.
- MCN Mentorship is an exclusive benefit of membership: you must be a current MCN member to participate.
- Mentorship pairs are expected to attend an online orientation at the start of the program and meet at least once a month throughout the entirety of the program.
- Mentees will create a list of goals that they plan to accomplish by participating in the program.
- In the case of peer-to-peer pairings both participants will create a list. At the conclusion of the program, all participants will be asked to fill out a self-evaluation to examine what they’ve accomplished and identify some tangible take-aways they learned over the course of their mentorship relationship.