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|Midshipman Advisor Training Manual|
What Is A Midshipman Advisor?
The Midshipman program used to be about helping new ensigns find a job/billet they liked in UFS. It allowed them to come in to a ship/station of their choice as a “Midshipman” guest, and try the ship/station out for up to 30 days. It allowed allowed the COs to try out a new crew member. If either side thought it was not a good fit, then the program would move the ensign to another ship or station. The goal was for the new UFS officer to find a “job” that they truly enjoyed, where they would have fun and want to stay in UFS for a long time to come.
Present Situation (Jan of 2387 or Jan of 2012 RL date):
The “reboot” changes how UFS and the academy are run. In theory, there are no longer newly graduated ensigns looking for a ship or station (or any other type of UFS chapter for that matter). So the “job placement” aspect of the Midshipman Program has been eliminated.
In practice, we are getting new UFS members who join UFS directly rather than joining a ship/station first. They take/pass the OCTS and and become an “ensign” who is looking for a ship/station/chapter to join. In addition we get people who sign up for UFS from the web page, and who have no intention of becoming an officer or taking the test. These people are also looking for ships/stations/chapters to join. We also get existing UFS members that need to change their Ship/Station for whatever reason (work schedule changes and they can't make missions, or they don't enjoy it there, etc).
So we are still faced with the same problem—UFS members who need to find a ship or station. And our goal has not changed. We still want to help the UFS member find a “job” they truly enjoy, one that will make them want to keep actively participating in UFS for a long time to come.
So, What Is A Midshipman Advisor?:
A Midshipman Advisor is someone who helps new members find their place in UFS. It is also someone who helps new members navigate the confusion of being new to UFS and “learn the ropes.,”such as learning about the forums, the Membership Manual and OCTS course, assorted “in world” stuff, plus anything else that will come up as we get new types of chapters. It is sort of a “help desk” for new members.
In addition, a Midshipman Advisor is someone who helps any UFS member find a “chapter” (such as a ship, station) that works for them. This could include existing officers who need to change their posting for whatever reason. At present we only help for 001 (SL Grid, 3rdGrid, UFS Grid, etc), but that is expected to change as we get other types of chapters in UFS. But do not worry, we are not asking any individual Midshipman Advisor to know about all possible types of chapters... you can serve on the grid or chapter where you are most comfortable.
How Does Being A Midshipman Advisor Work?
This is a Fleet level job. You are encouraged to participate fully in your chapter, and the chapter would be considered your “Primary Billet.” The Midshipman Advisor job is in addition to your primary billet. It is a job where you get to help people, and it can be quite rewarding.
You will be added to the list of Midshipman Advisors on the Midshipman Wiki page. People will contact you when they have questions using whatever is appropriate for the area you serve in. For example, most of our initial Midshipman Advisors will be Sector 001 Metaverse advisors (SL, 3rdRock, UFS Grid). People would most likely contact Sector 001 in-world by IM, or on the forums via forum mail.
In addition, people will post questions to forums and/or group chat. If you see someone who is confused or who needs help, you are encouraged to contact them and offer to give them info that they may find useful. (For Example if you are on SL and someone posts to the UFS Group Chat that they are new and have no idea what to do next, you can IM them. The same is true if you meet someone in world (say at the SL UFS Welcome center)).
You can answer questions for people. You can walk someone step by step through the process of getting connected if you like. In fact, the more helpful you can be, the better. We want our new members to feel valued and cared for. It can be frustrating to be a new member and try to figure out how things are done. It is very helpful to have someone who mentors them through the process and gets them set up. However, some people are independent and self starters, and they may simply need to be pointed in the right place, such as the Ship/Station RP times and CO contact list.
A few other questions and answers:
Q: Will I have an assigned shift, like at the welcome center?
A: No. You will be “on call.” For instance in SL, you may get an IM from someone asking for help OR you may get a PM on the Forum.
Q: Do I need to drop what I am doing and help people instantly?
A: No. We know that you have things (RPs, Builds, Social Events). If you are not available the instant someone IMs you, then please let them know when you will be available and make arrangements to get back to them. All that we ask is that you do not make them wait too long.. try to help them that same day if possible. Otherwise, the next day.
Q: Can I be both a UFS greeter and also a Midshipman Advisor?
A: Yes. In fact, the two jobs fit nicely together.
Q: Can I be a Midshipman Advisor if I am busy and seldom available?
A: Sorry, that wont work out well. We need people who are around/available somewhat regularly, as it is a help desk type of job. People who have questions and issues need to be able to get help somewhat promptly, or they will become very frustrated.
Information You Need To Know
- How to help a new member with the basics – See Guide For The New UFS Officer
- What The Roleplay Times are for the Sector 001 Ships/Stations who have RP. See
- Who the CO/XO contacts are for each ship or station. See
How To Help Someone Find A Ship Or Station That Works Well For Them
1. You will want to ask some questions up front. For now we just have metaverse chapters (UFS Sector 001), so I am going to discuss helping people find a ship or station in 001.
- Ask them what Grids they are willing to participate on. If they only want to be on SL, then it does not make a lot of sense to point them towards Chapters on 3rdGrid or UFS Grid. On the other hand, if they prefer one of those grids to SL, we want to make sure they know they have options there.
- Ask them what times they are available for RP. If they are only available weekdays, then you don’t want to recommend ships or stations that have their main RP on weekends. Be sure to take their time zone into consideration. If they are in the Europe, then the SL evening RPs will be in the wee hours of the morning for them. All times on the schedule are SLT. If you are not sure of how to convert their time zone to SLT, then ask them what time it is for them right now. Figure out what the SLT time is and calculate the difference. Then you can translate the RP times into their time zone. Example: the person says they are from Spain, which is GMT +1. You live in EST and it is 3 PM, which is Noon SLT. You ask them what time it is for then right now and they say it is 9 PM. You calculate the delta between their time and SLT time as 9 hours. So now you can translate the RP times on the schedule to their time by adding 9 hours to it. For instance, the USS Veracruz Wed evening mission is at 1700 (5 PM) SLT. Add nine hours to that, and you get 2 AM for the person who is in Spain. That means Veracruz is probably not going to be a good option for them. On the other hand, USS Sheppard is 10 AM on Sundays. You add 9 hours to that and get 7 PM Sundays for the person in Spain. Depending on their personal schedule, that might turnout to be an excellent time for them.
- Ask them if they have a strong preference of Ship or Station. If they want to be on a starship and wont consider a station, then you need to point them towards starships. If they dont have a preference then there are a few things that you might want to consider. For instance, if they want to be a security officer (with emphasis on the security side rather than tactical side), they will have more opportunities to do security RP on a station. If they want to be a helmsman of a starship, they may also find that they enjoy being a shuttlecraft pilot on a station.
- Ask they what level of RP they are at and how important the RP side is compared to the “have fun” and be with Trek loving friends side is. If they are extremely serious RPers, they may be happier on a ship/station that puts the caliber of RP over the social side, and has stronger RP level requirements. If they are not so serious about RP, they might enjoy a more relaxed ship where the emphasis is more on everyone having a good time than on maintaining a certain caliber of RP. This could change, but at present my impression is that some of the most “serious” RP ships include the Shogun and Sheppard. Some of the more social/fun ships include the Veracruz, the Aviator and the Solstice. If they like to have an interactive ship where the actually use controls to fire weapons (etc) rather than RP having done so, then they will probably love the Menelaus. I dont know the station side as well as I know the ships, so I dont make that type of recommendation for the space stations and star bases.
2. Once you have helped them sort out which “chapters” might be a best fit for them, then give them the contact information for that ship or station ... the CO and XO. They need to contact the CO/XO directly for specific questions or for applying to join that crew.
3. Advise them to ask for a trial RP (e.g., attend a mission as a guest) with the ship/station they have selected. This will help them make sure they like it there.
4. Give them the link to the Ship/Station RP Schedule forum page. Advise them that if they scroll down 1 entry, they will have the contact info for the chapters.
5. This is up to you, but I recommend that you friend them and invite them to contact you if they have any more questions or need any more help.
- This manual was written by Teresa Firelight on 120203.