APPENDIX 5 - The Apprentice/Mentor Program
- What is the Apprentice/Mentor Program?
- Guidelines for Mentors
The Apprentice/Mentor program pairs someone interested in becoming a tester with
BackpackGearTest.org with a Veteran tester who volunteers his or her time to
help the new person learn the ropes. If you would like someone to
personally help you become a tester, just send an email to
email@example.com and ask for
one. Include MENTOR REQUEST in the subject line of your message. Be
sure to give your name. A mentor will contact you as soon as possible by
email and give you guidance and answer your questions. You should read the
Survival Guide so that you
understand what it will take to become a tester.
The Apprentice/Mentor program
is strictly voluntary. If you are comfortable following the documentation
on your own, you can certainly do that. If you want additional help,
though, be aware that we are ready to help you.
A Mentor Will:
- Explain the report writing process and answer any questions you may have.
- Direct you to appropriate documentation.
- Read your Owner Reviews and make helpful suggestions.
- Assist you with any problems you may have in the process.
- Read your Applications and offer hints and suggestions.
- Read your Initial Report when you are selected for testing, and make
A Mentor Will Not:
- Do any of your work or any writing for you.
One of the basic leadership principles of any
successful organization is the investment of time and energy in properly
preparing successive generations.
By embracing the training of future generations as a key principle of
leadership, we ensure our successors are trained by professionals who
pass on their
knowledge and experience.
Mentors are the first 'real' contact a new person usually has with
http://www.backpackgeartest.org. We need to be seen as supportive and helpful, making the
Current mentors should
review this information, and all new mentors should read it at least twice.
Mentor Mission Statement
To help guide, mentor, and inspire new testers on the trail to
becoming veteran testers.
Expectations of the Mentor
- Make Initial Contact
- Make initial contact within 5 days of being
asked to mentor.
- Be Proactive
- If you haven't heard form your mentee in a while then ping them.
- Follow up if there is a lag in contact (reviews, edits, etc)
- Offer suggestions/edits for Owner Reviews and Applications
- Keep Mentee through first Initial Report
- Writing an OR is easy by comparison. The
real work begins once you get accepted to test gear.
This is very important - We need to make contact with these folks and
get the ball rolling while its still fresh in their minds and they are
interested. You don't have to overwhelm them with information, just get
the conversation going. You can start out with getting to know
the person first, and giving a link to our website. Ask about
what they are thinking of reviewing. You can do it however you
Review the mentees OR's first before having them send it to the editing
team. It will speed up the process. Explain that you are willing to
edit/offer suggestions, but the official edits are from the OR team.
Also some folks can't handle the shock "I cant believe I made all those
mistakes" If you as the mentor offer to review it first, it will help
ease that pain. Also offer to look at their apps before they
Don't write it for them, but offer suggestions.
Now on to some suggestions on how to help out your mentee.
Before taking on a new Mentee, please review the following and make
sure you cover each of the points with your Mentee. Depending
on the person, you may need to take it slowly. Do not
your Mentee, but stay in contact throughout the process. Some
Mentees may be ready to 'fly solo' after their second OR, but MOST will
need support throughout the application process and until they write
their first IR.
Top 10 List:
Here are the points you'll need to cover with your mentee.
Other suggestions to help out with mentoring.
Do you have any questions?
What can you write reviews on?
Have you read the SG?
Have you submitted a Tester Agreement?
Tiny URL (www.tinyurl.com)
Newbie Rule/Rules of BackpackGearTest.org
Did you convert ALL your measurements and use appropriate abbreviations?
Is your bio under 100 words?
Have you spell checked?
Explain the Rules - submit one OR at a time, complete the process with
the first one, before submitting the second.
Which list to post ORs to, which list to post Test subject emails to.
Only review items you have purchased (as opposed to made).
Can not use reviews already published elsewhere.
Do not rewrite for the Mentee, but offer suggestions, etc.
Offer examples of good reviews – not necessarily a 'great'
Can be intimidating.
- Explain the Newbie rule.