Starbase 118 Ops Mentor Handbook

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Ops-icon.gif       "The important thing is this: To be able at any moment
to sacrifice what we are for what we could become."
- Charles Du Bos

Starbase 118 Ops Mentoring Program

Volunteering to be a part of the mentorship program is a big step. Not only does it put you on the front lines when it comes to our new members, but it also allows you to help shape the future leaders of the Fleet. As such, this is a big step towards your own leadership potential, and it is a big responsibility that should not be taken lightly.

Our mentoring program is intense, with the goal being to retain all new ensigns that come aboard. As such, it is important to follow the steps involved in mentoring a new ensign so that they get the most out of the program. This handbook exists to help you understand the steps involved, as well as some of the more common issues that may arise throughout your time mentoring a new member.

Keep in mind that each officer is different; some will come to the ship and need very little direction, while others may need some intensive one on one help. Whatever the case is with the ensign you are mentoring, remember that you are not alone! The First Officer and Captain are available to help and answer questions that either of you might have along the way.

Being Chosen as a Mentor

Mentors are coordinated through, and allocated by, the Command Staff of Starbase 118. If you think that this is a job that you might like to do, review the following expectations and send a message to Commodore Sal Taybrim (Starbase 118) in order to apply.

  • You are asked to hold the rank of Lieutenant or above, with no disciplinary issues
  • You are required to sim consistently and at full-time
  • You have shown that you consistently adherence to Fleet formatting and setup
  • You have the capacity to check in with a mentee on a weekly basis
  • You are able to read every sim and are able to provide feedback in a timely manner
  • You are willing to collaborate with other mentors and seek to improve our mentoring program

Receiving Your Mentee

When a new Ensign arrives on the Starbase/Ship, they will receive a few specific emails. The first is a welcome from the Commanding Officer, and the second is the welcome from the First Officer. Once the welcomes are out of the way, the Commanding Officer will usually assign a mentor and hand off the Ensign to their specific mentor to ensure that both the mentor as well as the new member know what is going on. Best practise is to check with CO and FO if such an email has been sent / will be sent. It will look like this:

Greetings Ensign, and Lieutenant,

Ensign __________, I would like to introduce Lieutenant Commander Alora DeVeau (Amanda). She currently writes for our First Officer, and is a member of the Starbase command staff. She will be here to serve as a guide as you incorporate your character into the Starbase crew. She is a wealth of knowledge and assistance. She will be in touch with you on a regular basis with some pointers and a tips as you integrate further with our group.

Amanda, he is all yours.

If either of you need anything, let me know.


Your Own Introduction

Once the email from the Commanding Officer has been sent out, it is your turn to introduce yourself to your new mentee. There is no right or wrong way to do this, as long as you keep in mind that new Ensigns can be easily overwhelmed and confused. As such, you should strive to provide a base for them to build their knowledge both IC and OOC.

Chances are they are very excited about getting started, but may not know just where to actually begin. By reiterating what has already been stated by the Commanding Officer and First Officer, and then offering to help get their characters involved by leaving them some tags, you can show them where to go to get information (the Wiki), and that we want them to be integrated and involved in the current plot. Below is an example introduction email that you can adapt to use as your own mentor introduction email.

Greetings Ensign ___________,

As Jamie said, I sim for Lieutenant Commander DeVeau, the ship's Chief of Science, but feel free to call call me Amanda; we are all very informal out of character, and you never have to refer to anyone by their rank.

I will be serving as your mentor for the coming months. This means that I will be here to give you help and support in your first few months with the group. I can answer any questions that you might have about anything, including the forums, the wiki, in character stuff and out of character stuff. It doesn’t matter what it is, please don’t hesitate to ask or mention it.

I also have a couple of PNPCs aboard the Starbase so if you need some tags to get you started just let me know and I'll whip something up for you!

Alright, I guess that is it! If you need to get a hold of me, or if you just want to chat, or if you have any questions at all, you can reach me via email or Discord (Aiko Heiwa#8441.

Again, welcome aboard, and don't hesitate to contact me for anything!

Amanda (Alora DeVeau)

Getting Them Involved

The first few days of a new member's tour of duty are some of the most confusing. Everyone aboard the ship is already simming normally, and they might shy away from jumping in. At this point it is vital for the mentor's to take the lead as there are multiple issues that can come up that could derail a new member from getting integrated into the crew.

If your mentee has simmed, great! They are well on their way to being a productive and happy member of the fleet. If, within 48 hours, however, they have not simmed themselves aboard, they may be lost. When this occurs, it is important for the Mentor to do two things; first, contact the new member and ask them if they have any questions, and second, post a sim that includes tags for their character.

Perhaps more than any other point in time, this is the most critical for retention of new members. Often, this is when members get lost and fall between the cracks. Without the help and vigilance of a mentor and command staff, it is possible that no one would notice the new Ensign not simming. It is for this reason that your job is so important within the workings of Starbase 118.

Providing Feedback

Feedback is a vital part of the mentoring process. Mentors will provide feedback to new members about both the things that they are doing right as well as the things that they might need to improve on. Use examples or bits from other people's sims to show how things should be done correctly, but be sure not to overload the new member with lots of things that need to be fixed. Concentrate on one or two big things, then work your way to the smaller issues that might be occurring.

Mentors are required to provide feedback emails on a weekly basis during a new members first mission. While some new members will not require intensive feedback, it is important to send an email anyway if only to reiterate that questions and comments are always welcome.

Ensigns that have larger issues that need worked out will require more feedback emails. If there is a specific problem, mentors are asked to send feedback emails after each sim until the problems are resolved. Remember, provide examples so that the new member can really see what is going on and how they need to adapt to fit into the Starbase 118 style.

Staying Connected and Providing Ops-Specific Information

Beyond the feedback emails, all mentors are required to send go through the mentoring templates. While it is less about sending out a template, we want to make sure that important information is provided to our new members, and that we offer a timely explanation and guidance regarding things like the Ops Voice Chat, Appreciation Forums etc.

The end goal, for all new members, is to give them a 'friend' and point of contact on their home ship where they can feel comfortable asking questions and taking their first steps towards becoming a future leader within the fleet.

Problems and Issues

Occasionally, there are problems with new Ensigns that mentors simply cannot solve on their own. No person aboard, new Ensign or not, should ever be abusive to any other member aboard. This includes, but is not limited to OOC emails, IC actions and speech (unless cleared by all members involved), threats of any kind, or verbal (via email or IM) abuse. If mentors should encounter a problem with an Ensign, it is vital to let the Commanding Officer and the First Officer know right away. Be sure to save any conversation snippets, such as IM logs or emails, and forward them to the command staff so that things can be taken care of appropriately. Don't ever retaliate or try to 'teach them a lesson'. Stay calm and professional, then get help.

Sometimes, no matter how hard a mentor might try or how many times they contact a new member, that member may not respond either by OOC contact or IC adjustments after feedback is given. If an Ensign is not responding, please do not hesitate to contact the command staff for further direction. Just like mentors are there to help their Ensigns, the command staff is there to back the mentors up and help them when they need it. Likewise, if there are questions that mentors are unable to answer, the command staff is always available to help!

On the flip side, some mentees have issues or problems with their mentors. While mentors are screened prior to their allowance into the mentoring program, sometimes personalities just don't mesh. All new Ensigns are encouraged to contact the command staff if such an event arises, as are the mentors who might feel that the match is not something that is really sustainable. Remember, we would rather retain the new Ensign and find them a different mentor than allowing a harmful and counterproductive relationship to go on.