At Nana Academy students learn the basic knowledge they need to get started with a hands-on mentorship. During a mentorship students are matched with an experienced technician currently working on the Nana Home platform for full-day ride alongs. The ultimate goal of mentorship is to give student technicians the hands-on practice and confidence to try their first basic appliance repair.
The Nana Academy team had a chance to chat with a current mentor in Houston, TX, Carlos Montano, to get his tips on how to be the best mentor, what skills are most important, and why he’s always looking for his next mentee.
Why Are Mentorships Important?
“To be honest with you, learning the appliance industry is trial and error. You are probably going to go in [a customer’s home] to change a part you’ve changed many times before, but this time it won’t be the solution.”
Mentorship is the last step before a student technician can begin earning money completing appliance repairs on the Nana Home platform. For most student technicians, mentorship is also the first time they get hands-on with an appliance repair.
What Should Mentorship Look Like?
“Mentorship should take about one week of 4 – 7 full-day ride alongs. When I teach my techs I tell them, look, I’m teaching you the basics.”
During mentorship you want to give a student technician as many opportunities as possible to get hands-on. Some students will hesitate during the first few ride alongs, but if you can teach a student technician that it is ok to try and learn when it doesn’t work, then they are more likely to get hands-on faster.
This skill is crucial when a student technician tries their first few diagnoses. Here are a few tips on teaching student technicians how to diagnose an appliance:
- Ask the customer to confirm the complaint and symptoms in front of the student tech
- Always review the order of operations for the appliance before beginning a diagnosis
- Identify bad element(s) and component(s) by referencing the appliance’s symptoms
- Explain your process for gathering information
- Ensure your techs don’t leave a job with any questions
- Don’t be afraid to rediagnose
How Do You Teach Confidence to a Student Technician?
“Technicians are going to have to find out what is wrong with an appliance, but won’t always get it the first time. Technicians need to learn to be confident and think ahead.”
The ultimate goal of mentorship is to give student technicians tips, knowledge, and the confidence to try their first repair. Student technicians are guaranteed to run into something they have never seen before, but through mentorship they can learn what to do when they run into unexpected problems.
A few tips teaching confidence to student technicians:
- Train and remind techs about soft skills including how to handle themselves with confidence in front of a customer
- Teach techs how to do research ahead of a job to create a hypothesis
- Teach techs how to communicate with customers and answer all of their questions
- Show techs it is ok to rediagnose or start over (troubleshooting)