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Round 5 Results

Round 5 had slightly lower overall scores (9/10 recommend Magnify and 8.3/10 mentor fit). While this is a small difference, based on the forms, I suspect it is largely the result of two extrinsic factors:

  1. Many mentors were caught in the fall-out from the FTX collapse and related community-organizational strife. This disrupted the consistency of the mentoring and for some the life stressors may have affected quality.

  2. Magnify Mentoring was funding insecure at the beginning of the year and therefore we were not able to run our normal “extracurricular” programming.

Plan Changes (we define this as their plan changed, this was positive, and it was because of us):

  1. We have 14 solid cases of counterfactual plan changes in the last 6-9 months.

  2. We have 3 cases where we were a contributing factor.

  3. We have 4 cases where they report we caused them to be retained or promoted in a current impactful role.

  4. We have 6 cases of individuals reporting we were a nudge towards a more impactful direction but the plan is currently unrealized.

A selection of answers to Has Magnify assisted you in achieving your goals?”

On skill-development:

  • “Yes, Magnify has been a great experience for me in developing my own skills as a mentor and coach. This applies to both my experiences mentoring and being a Magnify mentee. E.g., by working with my mentor (mentor), I've learned some new ways of communicating with my own mentees and structuring our calls. (Mentor) has also given me confidence and validated my experiences, which makes me a better staff member/manager/person overall. I should also note that I would not be at my current job (at Rethink Priorities) if I had not been connected with one of my previous Magnify mentees through the program.”

  • “Yes, Magnify has supported me in achieving my goals by providing me with a mentor who helped me to continue developing my skills in project management. Through my work with Rethink Priorities, I discovered that working in project management is something that I want to continue doing within the Effective Altruism movement, and that's a big step towards continuing to pursue my goals. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such an amazing mentor and colleague and for the support that Magnify provided me throughout the program.”

  • “Yes it has, I was hoping to feel more comfortable and acquire more skills that could be relevant for me to pursue a high-impact career and I did. In particular, the personal discussions I had with my mentor built my confidence a lot and left me feeling that I wasn't alone in the process.”

  • “Magnify connected me to someone working in an area I was interested in stepping into. My mentor gave me a better idea of what sorts of skills would be needed to be helpful...”

  • “Yes - I was able to implement some useful advice about work/life balance but also about fostering community and volunteer management.”

On opportunity and access:

  • “Magnify has supported me in finding my path to grad school. The mentorship, the resources, and the support system through other mentees were very instrumental for me during this process. I actually got offers from my top choice programs, that is the Yenching Scholars program and the MPhil in Ethics of AI, Data, and Algorithms at the University of Cambridge (which is the program I will be attending).”

  • “Participating in Magnify and more importantly interacting with my mentor has helped with my primary goal of learning more about the impact sector and what career opportunities there are within the sector. Another goal I have achieved through the support from Magnify is becoming more confident in pursuing career interview opportunities which have helped me acquire the current internship I am involved in now as well as participate in a research opportunity.”

  • “I am going to grad school in a biosecurity technical field and I have an Open Phil grant for this which my mentor helped to review! I am also more confident in myself.”

  • “I have been connected to people who can guide me in my path as a researcher. I have also been given access to several job boards that can facilitate my pursuit. Much more than that, my conversation with my mentor inspired me to commence some projects and also apply to some programs that will expand my horizon.”

  • “The mentors and networks were useful; in my case, they helped to provide a broad prospect of options of work I could do. It also helped me not to limit what I thought I could do. Since the mentoring, I have applied for a lot more opportunities than I have prior to this.”

  • “Yes! It has helped me explore different job opportunities, including helping me to get quite far along in multiple application processes and ultimately (through wayward means) landing me a new job.”

  • “Yes: - When I was looking for a new opportunity, Kathryn was fantastic with connecting me with opportunities, and (mentor) was very supportive and helpful also, especially with emphasizing that she is here to serve my goals whatever they may be - I think more broadly, I've been intimidated to have a mentor because I can have avoidant attachment styles. (Mentor) has been really great about showing up for me and being flexible, while actively supporting me - My goals changed throughout the process, shifting from looking for other opportunities to staying for longer in my current opportunity (and shifting it to better fit my needs). (Mentor) has created and maintained a safe space to work with me as my circumstances and goals change.”

  • “Yes - in identifying job roles I was suited for. Kathryn's belief in my fit was also confidence-boosting! Yes, for goal #2. I found ways to improve my skill sets and experience, including going to an EA hub for networking and volunteering for work and finding an area to specialize in (biosecurity + factory farming). Goals before starting the program - #1 seek judgment/evaluation on my work experience and qualifications, - #2 discuss how I can improve or acquire the skill sets I need to find a job. - #3 (maybe) collaborate on a project or get help finding someone else for collaboration.”

  • “Absolutely. Yes, these are the goals I've been working on: - 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 organizations, and have massively improved how effectively I present myself in the interview process largely thanks to my mentor's help.”

  • “I think it helped me mostly in becoming more confident and just making the process of career planning more enjoyable and less stressful. While I do not have a job yet, I think being a mentee helped me obtain a clearer picture of how I want to spend the next 6 months, in which I am planning on exploring different options.”

  • “Yes, (mentor) had very good advice and put me in touch with several people working in AI governance.”

  • “Yes, I feel encouraged and have learned more in the field of operations management. Getting to know more people in the field also helped a lot.”

On emotional support:

  • “It gave me the motivation to do well in school, even if it was filled with uncertainties.”

  • “It helped me to make some specific work decisions that would have been harder to make alone.”

  • “Supported me emotionally and provided a good sounding board for when I decided to quit a job for the first time. Also gave me resources and suggestions on how to do it. Helped me manage my imposter syndrome as I was onboarding to a new job.”

  • “Through Magnify, I had the opportunity to meet (mentor) who has been my life coach for 12 weeks. Through her guidance, patience, and support, I am so happy with the progress and growth I made in different aspects of my life.”

  • “Providing me with a framework for sustainable motivation and working through baby steps to achieve my goal.”

  • “My mentor provided a lot of positive encouragement to my ongoing work and decision-making. I also was exposed to a lot of really great individuals that I can identify with through the program, which makes EA as a whole seem less daunting and more something that I can participate in.”

  • “Absolutely! It was especially great to talk to (mentor) and Kathryn, who both supported me in my goals by giving advice and passing on opportunities that seemed relevant. I especially liked that I felt I was in a "safe space" -- I could openly talk about concerns or observations I wouldn't share with just anyone.”

  • “1. Accountability and check-ins while I'm in a bit of a transitional phase, 2. Figuring out next steps -- I'm still unsure but it's good to know this is normal and part of the overall process (if that makes sense)”

On refining plans:

  • “The mentorship was a much-needed opportunity for getting regular feedback and a more precise formulation of personal goals.”

  • “Yes. Talking with my mentor about my questions about my next career move from a shared value perspective was very useful.”

  • “It has helped me ask some questions and think about my uncertainties with regard to career transitions.”

  • “Yes, absolutely. The reason I signed up for Magnify was that I wanted to go in a new direction at work but was unsure what that could be. The mentoring helped me understand my own value, gain confidence and speak up about this wish at work. I am now leaving the mentoring with a new job that is more suited to how I want to grow, and with more trust and confidence.”

  • “I think my goals kept changing during the months that the program ran but having a smart and supportive person to discuss things with made an incredible difference.”

A selection of answers to “Describe any changes to your plans that you made as a result of the Magnify community?”

  • “I am currently planning on spending the next months exploring AI safety and I am not sure if I would have had the "courage" to commit to this without the program.”

  • “Decided to engage in government more during undergrad (applying for certain internships, etc.)” Context note: This is someone who was considering whether to go into x-risk policy work.

  • “When I started the program I didn't know what path to pursue and now, with much help including from the MM community, I know I'm interested in the long-term policy field. As a personal change, being more open and vulnerable while connecting with others, helped me build meaningful connections and feel better with myself.”

  • “As a result of a connection I made through Magnify, I worked on a 4-month contract with Rethink Priorities, which eventually led to a full-time position. They are more subtle changes I think - Building confidence - More so believing in my potential - Having a more balanced view of my strengths and weaknesses - Wider view of the opportunities that could be a good fit for me.”

  • “I applied to a fellowship that I otherwise wouldn't have heard about.”

  • “Got into UofToronto with Pearson Scholarship, something I probably couldn't have done without my mentor.”

  • “Through Magnify, I started to embrace the idea of leadership and what that looks like for me. I never saw myself as a leader, but now I feel more confident to pursue this.”

  • “I firmed up my plans to work on research on local priorities in Africa. I got better exposure and knowledge that will help to do this through the connections that I made with my mentor.”

  • “Worrying less and feeling more confident.”

  • “Less reliance on the academy in some of my after-PhD goals.”

  • “As there were no major changes to my plans, I am still pursuing a job in project or program management. However, being in the Magnify community helped me to gain more clarity and confidence in my career goals. Through my work with Rethink Priorities and my mentor, I was able to learn more about project management and how it can be applied within the Effective Altruism movement. This experience reassured me that project management is the right path for me and that I am on the right track toward achieving my career goals.”

  • “Before the program, I thought I needed to get an EA-aligned job to have the best chance of making an impact, but after connecting with my mentors and the connections they made for me, I realized I can work to make my impact investing firm more rigorous about impact and help them allocate their resources more effectively. While I do this, I know I will have support and guidance from the connections I made as a result of Magnify, which is greatly helpful.”

  • “Felt more comfortable reaching out to people, connecting, and expanding my network.”

  • “I made changes in what impact looks like for me. I have learned ways in which I can use my research to impact intersections of the different communities I belong to. I adjusted my research goals to this.”

  • “My career plans as an economics graduate were more narrow before participating in Magnify but through the different connections I've made I realized there are other opportunities in the impact sector that are not strictly economics-based but where I can still use the skills from an economics background. I am also more resolute after participating in Magnify that I do want to pursue a health development-related career within the impact sector.”

  • “See above - moving teams and changing jobs.”

  • “I have been considering working with the government as an option to address policy issues in development. Prior to this, I had not considered it due to my previous experience of civil service in my home country.”

  • “I don't know if my plans changed per se, but it allowed me to execute on them more fully by giving broad opportunities to talk openly with peers and mentor figures about careers, jobs, EA, and life experience. I left a corporate job last summer and joined Magnify at the perfect time, right when I was trying to learn more about what is out there in order to get closer to my goal of working in a high-impact job. Magnify was the perfect community to be a part of for that -- I found everyone to be very approachable and excited to talk and help one another, and I felt like I shared values with many people in a way that I had not in my previous work.”

  • “I'm a college senior currently interviewing for various jobs. While I've previously worked in international development, EA made me consider pursuing fields with more need (such as environmental protection and animal welfare). Magnify solidified that decision by making me feel like I was capable of this work.”

  • “Connected me with the right person, a very cool and inspiring person whom I am glad to have met in my life. I am also very glad that I could participate in Magnify Mentoring, especially this year because this year was one of the hardest years of my life, and the hardest year regarding amounts of things getting out of hand, challenges I had to overcome being a refugee, new things and environments I needed to navigate. And it was very important to me that I could get advice from a very cool and experienced person whose experience I could trust. l don’t know any other people except for (mentor) who overcame the challenges of immigration from a lower-income country to a higher-income country and is more experienced than me. Immigration basically means that you get sticks in your wheels in places where other people have had a smooth ride, and I guess I don’t judge myself as much, that I am not doing as much as I could, now that I also talked to (mentor) and asked her about challenges that she had to overcome. So being able to ask (mentor) about work, living in a new country, mentoring, studying, exams, and bureaucracy helped a lot, and sometimes some very small things that she said already solved a bigger problem or showed me a direction, where I could go/what I could do. And it was very good since I had many things I needed to take care of, to have not as much stress and not as many problems to solve sometimes. Maybe one of the most important things that I got from participating is that I see some things in a bigger perspective now. That if I am a problem-solver, a hard-working person, and I am determined and creative in my approaches, maybe things will turn out okay… And that the only thing that I need to do is to give it time.”

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