Ronin Mentoring Companion
Are you an experienced lieutenant or lieutenant commander aboard Ronin with a mentee, and you'd like to know more about what to do to help him/her out?
Are you an experienced lieutenant or lieutenant commander aboard Ronin who would like to get involved with mentoring?
Are you a new ensign or transfer who wants to know more about what you can expect from your mentor aboard the Ronin?
If you answered "yes" to any of these, then you've come to the right place!
What is a mentor?
A mentor is an experienced simmer who has been a member of the community for long enough and has proven their writing chops. All mentors are members of the Ronin staff group. They are typically of ranks Lieutenant or higher.
The CO and XO trust each member of that group to be the designated point of contact for any new ensigns assigned to him or her. As a mentor, the experienced simmer will be expected to keep in regular contact with their mentees, sending feedback, checking in, and making themselves available to answer whatever questions the mentee may have.
What is a mentee?
Without exception, a mentee -- a simmer who is assigned a mentor -- is new to the Ronin. Most of the time, mentees will be new ensigns who are arriving from their training cruise in the SB118 Academy. However, new transfers who are lieutenant JGs or full lieutenants may also receive a mentor for their first few weeks aboard the Ronin, especially if that person is returning from an LOA.
Who can be a mentor?
- See also: Ronin Officer's Manual/Staff
As long as your character possesses the rank of lieutenant or above, you may ask to become a mentor. In most cases, however, the CO and FO will approach experienced simmers directly about the possibility of becoming a mentor. Don't let that put you off, though -- if you haven't been approached, you should always feel free to contact the CO and/or FO about becoming a mentor. Be aware, though, that the desire to become a mentor does not mean that you will be automatically accepted. Mentors are expected to model exemplary simming habits, demonstrate strong writing, and meet full-time simming standards without exception.
What should a mentor do?
Let's break this down, step-by-step:
When a new simmer is placed on the Ronin, a call from the FO will go out on the staff group and assign a mentor the new simmer. The FO and CO will consider several factors regarding the selection of a mentor (who's mentored most recently, the departments of the volunteers and the new simmers, and so forth). The FO will then announce this to the staff group, and the mentor should contact the new simmer ASAP.
Because that initial contact should be as personal as possible, there's no template available. You should, however, cover a few basics:
- explain what a mentor is (perhaps by linking to this page)
- make sure that your mentee knows your SB118 email address
- be very clear that you are available to help out and answer any questions the mentee may have.
Note: USS Ronin does not permit the mentoring of members over Discord. Please keep your mentor communications to email!
The First Mission
During your mentee's first mission, you should check in at least every week to ten days. These don't need to be long messages, but be sure to let your mentee know that you're around and can field any questions s/he might have. It can often help to include some praise! Point out something you enjoyed from one of your mentee's sims in the last week, and then reaffirm that you're available to answer any questions. Of course, if your mentee reaches out to you in any given week, you may consider this condition satisfied.
Both mentors and mentees should be aware that all of the mentor's emails should be cc'd to the staff group. This is done to provide training for other mentors: It's easiest to know how to approach and interact with mentees when you've seen it done several times.
The Next Mission(s)/The First Promotion
Once a new simmer has mastered the simming basics, his or her mentor may begin to take a more relaxed role. But there isn't one clear time when this happens! Some simmers may have a great handle on the basics as a new ensign, while others may need a mentor's help for many months aboard. However, after the first mission, mentors should check in with their mentees about twice a month. They should make it clear, however, that they are still always available to their mentees.
Ongoing Mentor/Mentee Relationship
After promotion to lieutenant and beyond, the mentoring focus of the mentee will change to help them become a staff member. That means they may get assigned a mentee of their own. It's possible you may continue mentoring them depending on your rank, or they may change to be mentored by a more senior member of staff. This helps guide them into a senior staff role, and possibly a leadership role, in the future.
Resources for Mentors
Please note that some of these resources may be restricted to ship staff members only. Please contact the CO or FO if you don't have access and think you should!
- Writing Improvement Squadron Tutorial Library: There are many great tutorials here. Have a look through and see which ones might help you!
- Guide to Plot Facilitation
- Guide to Teaching Simming Skills
- Guide to Ship Administration, especially the section about working with new ensigns.
- Guide to Promoting Crew Involvement