Blend’s very first Education Exchange Program (BEEP) has come to a close, proving to be a great way to build long-lasting relationships with up-and-coming professionals in the community while sharing our knowledge and passion for the web industry. Over the past few months, four mentees had one-on-one time with Blend team members, learning alongside one another and gaining insight into the world of web design, programming, and marketing.
Mastering aspects of the ever-changing web industry often requires taking a winding path to get there. At Blend, we believe the key is to continuously learn, develop, research, and teach. This year's mentees were exposed to just that as they tackled real-world web problems, having their mentors there to offer guidance and support along the way.
“Set a goal and make progress towards that goal every day. Even if it's small progress, forward momentum is always better than waiting for the perfect opportunity to come,” says mentor Tyler Hecht.
Mentee Jenna Fischer felt that some of the best advice she got from her mentor was to spend at least 20 minutes a day working on computer programming related projects, while mentee Alasdair Selmes found that the support and resources were most impactful. He shares, "In coding, you will always be learning. You should embrace that fact and not feel bad if you don't know how to do something. There are plenty of resources and documentation online to help you, and if you are really stuck, it is OK to ask someone for help."
Setting realistic goals is a fundamental part of any project, but it wasn’t just the mentees that learned from the program. The mentors took away nearly as much as the mentees did.
“As part of our time together, [my mentee and I] actually started a recipe book project to go through the full process of making a website,” shares mentor John Pavek. “During this time we learned a lot. On many occasions, it wasn't just him. We both learned all about .NET core, MySQL connections, and Dapper. We fought through some bad error messages, and together we nearly completed the project before the BEEP program could end.”
Collaboration is at the heart of everything that we do at Blend, and for that reason, it has also become a focal point for BEEP. “Ashley and I had similar and different ways of how we start a project,” says mentee Jimmy Burma, “It will be nice to combine some of the ways Ashley works with the ways I like to, too.”
So, what's next? The BEEP mentees seem to have come out with a clearer view. “The program definitely gave me a better sense of what a career in web development would look like and gave me more confidence that I would be able to make the transition from my current career if I chose to,” shares Selmes.
As our 2020 mentees head onto their next adventure, Blend looks forward to staying in touch with the recent grads and continuing the program with fresh faces in the future.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a BEEP mentee in the future, stay connected with us on social media and follow along for updates.