Before COVID and more so during COVID-19, employability became an evident aspect to be improved for the international students community. 86% of our survey ensures us that mentoring plays a significant role in the scope employability. With 5 of us being international students ourselves, there needs to be a convenient solution for our employability concerns that has been ongoing. And with that as our inspiration alongside to combat social isolation post covid, we collaborated as a team to make a change for all international student communities across Victoria, potentially globally. where we emphasize connection and innovation.
What it does
MentorMe is a platform that integrates students with mentors around the globe through a system that connects both parties by analyzing the common factors such as education, industrial expertise, interests such as sports, books and also the right set of skills. The users get to register on the platform as a mentor or mentee and connect with each other. This is done through a simple system of match-making. In order to safeguard the integrity and harmony of the user community, the application has features to report user behaviors and the opportunity to review user profiles by other users who have come across them.
How I built it
The prototype is a webApp built using glide. During registration, the user has the opportunity to fill out the individual’s areas of interests. This would act as the primary layer of the sieve, which could be followed by several others such as the mentor’s level of expertise, user reviews and such, based on the user requirements. These filters hold a great deal of control in ensuring that the right people get matched with each other. A machine learning model will be able to learn the user preferences and facilitate better segmentation and fruitful matches. This model would then be able to create a virtuous cycle of data generation that could further augment the application’s performance and effectiveness in matching compatible users.
Challenges I ran into
Anisha - Challenges makes what we are today. We ran into a lot of difficult situations within allotted 48 hours, such as time and resource constraints in our market research, creating a business model and analyzing cost-revenue model. Ashwin - I initially found the revenue model to be challenging but with the help of market surveys and the right data, i crunched the numbers to find that our model was not only sustainable, but it was giving us a profit as well. Prem:- One of the major challenges encountered was in conducting the market research, the survey couldn’t reach enough people to give a strong set of statistics. Another one was with the application’s design. The prototype fails to replicate the actual application and its features in its entirety. However, it does serve to provide a basic representation of the application and plays a major role in successfully conveying the idea. Don - The challenges I found are combining all the great ideas of the team. Thankfully, for all the constant check up from the organisers, ensuring we have what we need, all the convenient ways for us to produce a product that international students need. Swan Htet -
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Anisha - We are grateful for our united team spirit and " can-do" attitude. Although there are various challenges, we have completed a working prototype and a proof of concept to validate our preliminary design ideas. Ashwin - having worked with such a cooperative team that was clear about individual responsibilities from the get-go is something I'm really proud of. Also the fact that we met all the deadlines. Prem: I am proud of how the team has managed to come together in pushing through and overcoming every hurdle along the way. Don: The quickest way to form a team and learning how to integrate each individual works to produce a product/service that can change the employability landscape for international students.
What I learned
Anisha - As a collaborative team, we have learnt important integral factors such as time management, effective communication, conflict resolution and new areas of expertise. Don - Time management Swan Htet - Communication Prem - Collaboration Ashwin - that seed funding, crowdfunding and grants do not count as revenue streams
What's next for HYF - Mentor Me
We want to understand our audience more, therefore, expanding our market research survey with larger sample group and insightful perspectives from mentoring industry. The plan of beta test will be launched with a crowdfunding campaign. With in-depth research and sustainable funding, it would allow us to optimise the true features of our MentorMe multi facet functions for employability.