SC18 Early Career Program & Mentoring

By Wendi Sapp (ORNL; XSEDE Campus Champion for Sustainable Horizons Institute)

Today I am involved in the Early Career program. I’m looking forward to meeting people who haven’t been at their jobs for very long. The day begins with an introduction and activity based on our Clifton Strengths assessment results. After meeting some of the participants of the program, we begin a new activity. We break into groups of 4-5 people and form a fake company. We assign roles based on people’s strengths. For example, Latifa was chosen as our CEO because she is organized and can “Woo” others. We feel she will be effective at accomplishing her vision. I decide that my strengths are well-suited for a Marketing and Communications Director position. I’m very strategic and I am able to relate to my intended audience. Our group shaves our experience with the room and we move onto the next activity: CV tips. The ECP participants submitted their CVs before the conference and received feedback from the ECP committee. The presenter gave the audience an overview of common errors and general advice for improving our CVs.

The afternoon contained mentoring activities in a joint session between the ECP and student volunteers. I served on a 3-person panel and gave suggestions on how to navigate a mentoring relationship. After that, the 200-strong audience moved to another room to a speed mentoring session. This was fantastic! The room was roaring with conversations between mentors and protégés who swapped every 7-ish minutes. I met some great students and another participant of the ECP. It was fun to chat with him as a peer mentor. As a bonus, I can give me a tour of NERSC (the high-performance computing facility at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory when I travel there in a few weeks.) Overall, The day was full with content specifically geared toward someone like me: early in my career and passionate about mentoring.

Cover photo by Mary Anne Leung (Sustainable Horizons Institute and SC18 Early Career Program Chair).

Stay tuned for more SC18 updates and watch UbuntuHouse@SC18 sponsors’ and friends’ websites to see what they will be doing at SC18!

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