Guidelines for Cornell Experts/Project Advisors
The Cornell Expert/Project Advisor’s mission is not just to help advisees with their current design but to instill within them the ability to apply better professional design practices – advisors don’t just give a fish, they teach advisees to design a better fishing invention!
Common professional design practices advisors may often cover include but are not limited to:
- Problem identification & needs assessment
- Determining use cases, requirements, and project scope
- System interface requirements, both internal and external
- Performance criteria and objective related metrics
- Failure modes, risk assessment & mitigation
- Project planning and task prioritization
Cornell Experts and Project Advisors go through specific training to help guide advisees to become our next great makers. By believing in each other, and sharing our maker’s wisdom every generation of makers has the potential to help make the next generation even greater.
Cornell Experts/Project advisors should first seek to comprehend the advisee’s project challenge and the advisee’s understanding of that challenge and their solution. They may then begin to probe into advisees’ design process. Whenever possible and time allows, advisors should ask leading questions, before offering solutions. Furthermore, the experts/advisors should make sure that the project remains the advisee’s project. Hence experts/advisors should not so much steer the project in a direction they think best, but offer advisees the design tools or questions that help the advisee’s recognize potential options and their value themselves.
Advisees may also ask questions about career mentorship or solutions to specific technical problems they are encountering. If you have time during these meetings and you feel well equipped to handle them, you are of course welcome to do so. However that is not the main purpose of these advising meetings and regardless of your own background & abilities, you are encouraged to point advisees to the Cornell Engineering CollabSpace community forums to both look for existing answers and post any new questions. Advisors may also follow up with advisee’s indirectly through the forums as well but are recommended not to offer additional outside support. Additional outside support may quickly become too large of a commitment to maintain and may improperly set the expectations of other advisees.
Additionally, you may be able to help more advisee’s indirectly through the information you post on the forums.
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