According the Geospatial Technology Competency Model today's geospatial professionals need to have knowledge and skills to demonstrate specific competencies. Becoming a mentor for the spatial community could provided opportunities to refine your soft and technical skills.
Source: Competency Moodle Clearinghouse
Before volunteering to be a mentor, begin by learning about the Geospatial Technology Competency Model. It is important to understand the qualities you will need to provide to those you mentor.
Tier 1 - Personal Effectiveness Competencies
Proving your interpersonal skills, integrity, professionalism, initiative, dependability & reliability, and lifelong learning are best demonstrated over a period of time. These are the type of qualities that employers try to assess from an applicants letters of recommendation. Mentors that consistently provide a high quality level of assistance over a period of time provide the opportunity for those you mentor to write meaningful referral letters about your personal effectiveness.
Tier 2 - Academic Competencies
College GPA transcripts, honors awards, and award nominations are great indicators of skill related to a potential employees level of reading, writing, mathematics, geography, science & engineering, communication (listening and speaking), critical & analytical thinking, and basic computer skills. Truth be told, education allows for students to focus on the task, meet the objectives, and demonstrate their comprehension in a controlled environment. Mentoring allows you to learn in an environment outside of the education institution where a process that worked yesterday doesn't always work today, the software was updated, the hardware is no longer compatible, and the user needs changed without warning. Often times, high achievers will, for the first time, experience a new dimension...uncertainty and failure. This is when the true test of learning begins. Learning from failure and managing the unknown test your ability to be resilient. Managing this dynamic while demonstrating your academic competencies is the true key to success.
Tier 3 - Workplace Competencies
Mentoring allows people to focus on the workplace competencies of teamwork, creative thinking, planning & organizing, problem solving/decision making, working with tools & technology, checking, examining & recording, and business fundamentals.
Now that you understand the competency model expectations, think of the type of career you want to have and begin refining your skills through mentoring.
Here are a few examples to get you thinking....
- Plan and organize a GIS Day event at your school or local business
- Support an art or history instructor on your campus by updating a lecture into an interactive story map
- Spend time in GeoNet to assist the community with problem solving technical issues
- Join the Esri Early Adopter Program to test curriculum for your previous instructors