How Mentors Help Students to Create Innovative Projects

22 Apr, 2022

6 programs, 46 mentors, and 280 students. Despite military assaults by Russian forces on Ukraine, the teamwork between mentors and students on a number of projects within the IT Expert initiative will continue in the spring semester in three universities in Lviv.

In the days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Lviv IT Cluster has re-established a cohort educational program called IT Expert to help better prepare students for careers in the tech industry as well as building partnerships with leading universities. Teamwork is one of the most critical areas of focus for an IT Expert. The program teams up students with experienced mentors in the tech industry, allowing students to learn to work effectively in a team and prepare innovative startup projects.

Each semester, Lviv IT Cluster enables Strong Junior, Middle and Senior IT professionals to mentor a team of 5-6 students and help them prepare for a project. Despite the war and the difficult situation in the country, in the winter-spring semester, a teamwork-oriented mentoring initiative was launched as planned in 6 bachelor’s programs.

Ivan Franko National University of Lviv: For the first time ever, mentors are joining the programs in HR Management and Electronics and Computer Systems

The BSc programs created with the support of the Lviv IT Cluster are not only strictly related to tech. The tech industry aslo needs skilled project managers, designers, communication experts and HR professionals. This semester, the HR Management program launched a teamwork course with experienced HR professionals. The students learn how to support employees in crisis situations, in particular, mental health of workers in wartime, the creation of a developmental environment, and the organization of hybrid work. Toward that end, participants will receive mentorship from experienced HR recruiters from well-known tech companies.

“Why is teamwork important in the IT workforce? It’s probably the single most powerful tool that we have at our disposal to align the personal and professional growth of each team member with the success of the organization. We believe that our gifted students deserve the chance to learn new things and develop their talents,” says Halyna Kaplenko, the curator of the HR Management program and deputy chair of the Economics and Public Management department at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.

With qualified IT talent from Renesas Electronics who will mentor and guide students, the Electronics and Computer Systems program course that includes teamwork starts for the first time at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.

The program on Data Science & Intelligent Systems at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv renews the teamwork course again. Students will learn how to develop mobile apps, Telegram bots, video games, etc. The curator of the program emphasizes that the involvement of experts is a powerful basis for the integration of research, training and business environment:

“Integrating research into practice is the powerful tool for organizations to drive innovation, improve agility, and optimize efficiency. Our students have the opportunity to feel a great environment working for tech enterprises, develop their creative teamwork skills, and their expertise to solve the problem. I am glad that the leading specialists of GameLoft, N-iX, Lohika, JetSoftPro, Keplercode and others are involved as mentors,” says Igor Olenych, the curator of Data Science & Intelligent Systems and the head of the Department of Radio Electronic and Computer Systems at the University of Lviv.

Lviv Polytechnic National University: mentors from top companies joined the teamwork course at the DevOps & Project Management program

16 teams of first-year students of the DevOps & Project Management program, launched last year at Lviv Polytechnic with the support of Lviv IT Cluster, started working with mentors. The program’s mentors include specialists from the country’s leading companies: SoftServe, Ciklum, Inoxoft, Intellias, Forbytes, Perfectial, GameLoft, Newfire Partners, FareHarbor, Reenbit.

This year, 13 teams teamed up with mentors from the Business Analytics & Data Science program, which offers the management of medical labs, apps to facilitate the learning process for children with dyslexia, services for learning Ukrainian sign language, programs for fake recognition, and much more.

“Team building activities is a way of developing the most sought-after skills in the high-paying tech occupations. The more you earn, the more state taxes you need to pay, and now this money is needed to secure the victory of Ukraine and rebuild every city impacted by the Russian invasion,” says Vasyl Lytvyn, the curator of DevOps & Project Management and Business Analytics & Data Science programs and the head of the Department of Information Systems and Networks of Lviv Polytechnic.

Lviv State University of Life Safety: mentor-student cooperation continues at the Cybersecurity program

Cybersecurity is one of the most relevant programs in today’s fast-changing world. First-year students of the Cybersecurity program are being mentored by specialists from SoftServe, GlobalLogic, Measurme, and MagicFuse. Students formed 6 teams, within them they develop games that mimic website cyberattacks, create “smart” mobile phone blacklists, and much more.

“Teamwork between our students and Lviv IT Cluster mentors has already become a very good tradition. It’s important that students organize themselves into teams and choose project topics. When working as a team, students learn how to work with other people, find non-standard solutions, and take responsibility not only for their own actions, but also for the whole project. It is very important to develop teamwork skills in students,” says Rostyslav Tkachuk, the curator of the Cybersecurity program and the head of the Department of Information Security Management in Lviv State University of Life Safety.

In June, students will present the results of their teamwork to a special jury. Lviv IT Cluster has traditionally invited famous entrepreneurs with significant experience in the startup field to evaluate projects. After all, these people can give useful advice to students on how to move forward and implement their business project.

A few words about our wonderful mentors. For them, the Lviv IT Cluster launched a separate support program last year to help grow the community, position its members properly, and help mentors develop their leadership skills. Thanks to all mentors who joined Lviv Cluster’s teamwork initiative.

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