Become a mentor

​The application window for mentors for the Fall 2022 semester is currently open. Read the following to see if you would be interested in becoming a mentor, and keep an eye out here and in Slack for more information about the next application cycle!

Mentors are students that either have more experience in the spaces or just generally want to get more involved. They are there to offer guidance to students and ensure student safety in the spaces. Emphasis is placed on being friendly and encouraging and sharing knowledge. Mentors are also in a very good position to learn from other users as they go.


Interested in becoming a mentor? Please read all of the following details regarding responsibilities and requirements for the mentor role and application, and fulfill the application components within the timelines below.

dates to know

Application deadline: 11:59 pm on Friday, April 22nd

Interview window: Monday, April 11 - Friday, April 15th

mentor responsibilities

  • All mentors are required to attend meetings every other week for the entire semester to keep everyone on the same page (these will most likely be on the weekend)

    • Mentors who are unable to make the meetings must notify the lead team ahead of time and are expected to watch the recording of the meeting so that they don’t miss any important information

  • Mentors must hold four (4) mentor hours a week entirely in-person.

    • In-person mentors will alternate between the ISS, Treehouse, and BiU each week.

    • Mentors will be expected to follow proper procedures for cancelling or getting their shifts covered by another mentor

    • These hours must be during the week, although you'll be allowed to open the spaces during the weekends

  • In-person mentor hour duties include:

    • Enforcing our regular room safety and COVID-19 safety rules

    • Ensuring that all tools and machines are used safely

    • Helping users with their projects as needed

    • Running students through the relevant Open Swim after they have completed the initial safety training 

    • Giving machine specific trainings (i.e. vinyl cutter, sewing machine, soldering iron, etc)

    • Mentor duties do NOT include putting together or straight up designing someone’s project for them

  • Mentors should regularly check the Slack and answer questions people may have

  • Mentors will work in groups to “champion” the machines in the spaces. Each mentor will champion at least one machine

    • Champions will learn the ins-and-outs of using their machine 

    • They will train users on their championed machine (with the exception of champions of the laser cutter and the X-Carve as those trainings are covered by our Treehouse Trainers)

    • Champions will be tasked with maintaining their machines, keeping inventory of relevant materials (such as vinyl, 3D printer filament, wood and acrylic sheets, etc), and requesting more be ordered as needed

  • Mentors will also work in groups to complete a room improvement project throughout the semester to improve the makerspaces

applicant requirements

Characteristics of a good mentor

  • Friendly

  • Confident

  • Punctual

  • Approachable

  • Enthusiastic about learning

  • Enthusiastic about the makerspaces

  • Good communicator

  • Any current Pitt student may apply, the makerspaces are not limited to just engineering students! 

    • The one exception is that co-op students who are on rotation this semester cannot be mentors, but please apply next time you are taking classes!

  • We prefer that applicants have experience in the spaces as a user before becoming a mentor

  • New mentor applicants must complete the basic ISS/BiU safety training and Treehouse Training before submitting their final application

  • New mentors must complete an Advanced Mentor Training with on of our Leads to become familiar with our systems and the machines

    • Sign up for the Advanced Mentor Training here.

If you haven’t completed both trainings yet, don’t worry, just email Stu McCutchen, our Mentor Manager at scm80@pitt.edu to set up training during the application window

application

NEW MENTORS

  • Mentor Applications: Submit via a form on our new website!

 

Mentor Application​

Submission of a Mentor form that contains the following: 

  • Name, Email

  • Resume

  • Portfolio (optional) 

    • This could be a website or a word document with a picture of something you made and a description of the process​

Yes/No, if not submit something you did (even a sketch)!! 

  • Tell us about things you’ve been made in the space (include photos, files, etc)

    • Include page of something you made in the spaces and explain your process

      • Did you design the file? What was the process from obtaining the file to the finished product?

  • What motivates you to make?

  • Why do you want to be a mentor?

  • A 20 minute interview with our faculty advisors, Dr. Clark, Brandon Barber, and/or Dan Yates

  • A passing score (at least 90%) on the Mentor Safety Quiz by 5 pm on Saturday, January 22nd.

so why become a mentor?

  • You will receive swipe access to the spaces for the semester, in addition to using it to open the spaces while you’re on duty, you are able to use them any other time Benedum is open, as long as you continue following all safety rules

  • Each semester of mentoring counts as one credit towards the Innovation, Product Design, and Entrepreneurship Certificate, up to three credits

  • Free stuff! At the end of the semester we give each mentor a cool gift in appreciation for their hard work. Each additional semester you mentor you’ll receive a different gift!

    • Past gifts have included T-shirts and Arduino kits, sweatshirts, overalls or bomber jackets with Makerspace patches, and for the most seasoned mentors, new 3D printers!

  • It’s a great addition to your resume! Graduate schools and employers will be impressed with the initiative it takes to be a mentor and become an expert on some of our machines

  • See the cool projects other students are working on! Between XProjects, class projects, senior design, clubs, and personal projects you’ll see a wide range of amazing things getting made in the spaces!

  • Read the testimonials from mentors from past semesters for more insight on what’s great about being a mentor!


If you still have questions regarding the mentor application or role after reading through this page, please ask your questions via the Slack or email us at makerspace@pitt.edu.