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Mid-Round 5 Feedback

This blog post gives an insight into the progress of our fifth round.

General Feedback:

  • “There is so much untapped talent in the world that could usefully contribute to problems in AGI governance. I'm very grateful to Magnify for trying to build a bigger and more diverse talent pool for the world's most important problems.”

  • “Just a quick note to say that I'm really enjoying the mentorship program so far - I've found it really helpful to have a female role model in a cause area I care about, and to have someone to reflect my current goals and doubts with. I really enjoyed meeting other mentors and mentees at the virtual meetup and interacting on Slack, where this has inspired me to think broadly about Women and NBs in EA, and how we can continue to grow and strengthen the diversity within EA with supportive networks like this.“

  • “It's been wonderful being mentored by (mentor) - she's wonderful and has been able to give me some useful insights and resources to explore - I'm reading a book she recommended at the moment. (mentor) also shared some resources on giving and receiving feedback that I've found helpful! I also appreciated the call we had - it helped me feel more connected and excited about how we can encourage more women to be part of the community.”

  • “When I started the mentorship I was looking for direction. I was already working at an EA organization, but I was not feeling confident and did not know what career direction I wanted to go in. Joining the Magnify Mentoring programme paired me with a mentor who also worked in operations, and who helped me shift my mindset to focusing on a set long-term direction to focusing on specific skills and understanding where they could take me. She helped me feel more confident in my abilities, to speak up and to be clearer about what I want to learn. To me, this programme has been transformational as it helped me understand what I want to learn, make me think more deeply about what impact I wish to have and what truly matters to me. It has tangibly resulted in me being more confident at work, speaking more about what I want to do which in turn has resulted in me transitioning into a new role which is in line with what I wish to learn and the impact I wish to have.“

Prompter Questions:

1. What goals have you been working on with your mentor?

  • “One of my initial goals was to get a better sense of what types of ops work I enjoy and have a comparative advantage in, in order to craft a long-term career plan more suited to my personal strengths and interests. (mentor) helped guide me through doing a mini-performance review that really helped me in understanding what my strengths and interests are. Going forward, I have a much more solid idea of the types of ops work I want to be doing long-term. Another goal I had was to take more initiative at work, and make space to also explore less-ops-y types of work. (mentor) encouraged me to set up various ‘mini experiments’ within the confines of my current role to test out my fit for other tasks like writing, program development, and website development. After doing so, I feel more confident in taking further initiative at work, and also just feel more excited about finding future work that combines ops work with more writing and program/project development work. More recently, I’ve been thinking about my next career steps more concretely. I’ve been thinking about potentially switching to an ops/program dev role at a longtermist policy organization who I’ve spoken to and who mentioned they would be interested in hiring me. With (mentor), I’ve been working on how to prepare for future conversations around this subject, and how to learn more about the cause area that they work in. She’s pointed me to resources, and has also just helped me think through my next steps much more carefully.”

  • “Next steps in my career. I've worked out concrete next steps for my career path that have given me clear actions and a path forward. - Skill development. I've learned which skills I need to work on and how to improve them so I can be more effective in my current role and in planned future roles. - Interview skills. Before I became a mentee, I had only ever had one formally structured job interview (my previous interviews have been more informal and/or consultation calls). While I've been a mentee, I've had multiple formal interviews in EA organisations, and have massively improved how effectively I present myself in the interview process largely thanks to my mentor's help.”

  • “Applying to grad school in a biosecurity-related field, being more self-confident.”

  • “How to make goals that come from a healthy place rather than a place of 'I’m not enough.'"

  • "Updating my CV, creating a first version of my personal values and ethics doc, and continuing to apply to new roles at a frequent pace Creating a sense of myself apart from EA, such that I can stay involved in the community and its work for healthy reasons, rather than fear of leaving.”

  • “Accountability to also take time to do things that are good for my personal development and not just for the "greater good". How to not get a burnout. Expanding the network and gathering ideas of whom to ask if I need specific advice in my field.”

  • “I have been working on transitioning from a job in academia (PhD in [field]) to a job within the Effective Altruism community. This is a particularly difficult move because academic skills are highly specific and my professional network is not useful at all in the EA community. While my mentor is not an academic, she was able to answer my questions about a potential future job, help me with the vocabulary needed for such applications, and set objectives with me to move forward.”

2. Has your mentor helped you to connect with resources or opportunities?

  • “So so many! (mentor) has shared papers, newsletters, and zoom events with me that are relevant to my research interests.”

  • “The program has been really helpful for me till now. I have been working on exploring different career opportunities with my mentor. It is great because we connect both in terms of work and private goals in life and therefore we can also have an open

  • conversation about values and work environment which I believe are equally important to the tasks of a job. The amount of time scheduled is also very workable for the both of us. I feel that speaking to someone every 6 - 8 weeks gives you a moment to reflect on your past weeks to become more aware of your accomplishments and challenges in life. Thanks again for this program.”

  • “Yes, she has connected me with multiple open opportunities.“

  • “She’s helped connect me to a lot of resources, and encouraged me to also utilize resources that were already available to me that I hadn’t considered (e.g. scheduling a career 1:1 with colleagues in my co-working space who have a lot of experience with this). More generally, she has just been a really valuable sounding board and accountability partner!”

3. Did you make useful connections on slack or at one of our events?

  • “Yes, I have been meeting 1:1 with (fellow mentee) who has also been applying to grad school in the same cycle as me. These calls have been a great support to me throughout the process and we met on slack.“

  • “Yes! I had a great call with a person I spotted on slack.”

  • “Absolutely! I was blown away by how many interesting and great people are part of the program and I really loved the ice-breaker sessions. I'm still in contact with several people and you personally, Kathryn, also had amazing tips and really helped me connect with great new people and organizations. I really think this is one of the best things about this program - the possibility to connect and get inspired by all the amazing people.”

4. Did you have a one-off call with one of the teams that were useful for you?

  • “Yes! I had a lovely call with Kathryn that helped me take concrete next steps to foster diversity within my local EA group.”

  • “Yes, as mentioned before, I talked to you, Kathryn, and it was not just really fun and interesting, it was also an amazing source of numerous contacts and ideas. I've reached out to everyone you suggested and was able to build both a professional and a personal network. This was super useful both for me personally and for my organisation. Thank you very much!”

5. Do you broadly feel welcome and happy in our community?

  • “Absolutely and I recommend it to all female and non-binary folks I meet through EA.”

  • “Yes, the resources and community are very helpful and the community is a useful place to find relevant job openings. Magnify has been so helpful at the start of my EA career. It's improved my confidence and I feel I'm working more effectively. It's also been very reassuring to connect with other EAs during a challenging time in the community. Thank you for all you do!”

  • “Absolutely! Thanks so much for all the work you're doing :)

  • “I feel both welcome and happy in this community. It was nice to see a space specifically for women and non-binary people in the EA community which tends to be quite male-dominated. It feels like a safe-space and I'd encourage people to sign up.”

  • “I absolutely do. I find it actually amazing that there wasn't a single contact within this community that was not super friendly and driven by mutual support. I've recommended Magnify Mentoring to so many people because I wish everyone could have the same great experience that I had! Thank you so much for all the great work you are doing! I hope your fundraising will be successful so that you can continue to make the world a better place by using your talent to connect the right people!”

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