Taskforce in Focus – Training Team

Taskforce in Focus – Training Team

Training Team Starfleet Academy logo

The Training Team is responsible for training all new applicants to prepare them to be posted to a ship within our fleet.  Today we meet Training Team member Lt. Commander V’Len Kel so we can learn more about this important part of our community! 

DeVeau: Thank you for joining us.  Can you please start by giving us a short overview on the Training Team and how it supports our StarBase 118 community?

Kel – The way SB118 works, the writing style and format are very important in order for everyone to be able to build the story.   The training team provides an orientation to that style and the rules we follow as we write.  While it is second nature now for many of us, our style is not intuitive for everyone and the training team provides a safe space for folks to get used to the style.  As pointed out above it also allows cadets to get a feel for the time commitment and the expectations.  For most cadets, once they’re training is complete, they have a basic understanding of our format and how to write.  From there ship specific mentors can continue to help the cadets adjust.

Please tell us about your background and your current role in the Training Team?

I am also new to the team.  I have done 2 ghost training sessions, and I’m on my second mock cadet training.  I’ve been doing mentoring for about a year and a half on the starships I’ve been on.  I just received my promotion to Lt. Commander.  I recently joined the USS Ronin team after spending a year and a half on the Thor/Oumuamua.  Both teams are great and the community overall has been a great source of fun and friendship.

What do you feel this taskforce adds to our community and why do you think it’s important? 

First and foremost, the team provides cadets with orientation to our process.  As I’ve stated, this alone is super critical to helping new people acclimate to our group.  The next thing it does is let new people know what the time commitment and expectations are like.  Finally, it also gives members of the fleet a chance to see who wants to join and how they’ll gel.  We can give Captains an idea of who the cadet is, where they struggle and where they are great.  This continues the process of getting new folks assimilated into our collective.

Why did you choose to join this taskforce and what keeps you motivated? 

Put simply, I love to do training. Working in Pharma I know how critical it is that everyone follows the same set of rules.  Getting folks on the right page and setting them up for success is really important as is the need to give honest feedback when they are not quite there.  I also really want to see the community grow.  I’d love to see more new vessels like the Ronin.  For this to happen we need to successfully get people on board.  

What is the most challenging part of being on this team?  What is the most rewarding?

I’ve not given any feedback to cadets as yet.  Watching a cadet who really wants to join but just can’t get the process correct is hard.  It’s harder when you see that they are not ready for the group.  We can retrain, but this isn’t always successful.  It’s hard to tell someone no, but it really is essential for the community.  On the flip side of that, working with cadets who are super into it and have great ideas is amazing.  It’s like serving with a new crew every few weeks and getting to have fun.  You can also throw some ideas of your own in and perhaps build a new character.  

How do you approach conducting training scenarios for new recruits? Do you have favourites?

I too am new, but I love a good starship rescue mission so there is a soft spot in my heart for those.  My training scenario involved strange readings from a star.  Weird stellar phenomena are always fun.  

What is a memorable experience or success story from your time training new members?

I don’t know that I could point to a single success story.  I do see folks coming in very uncertain and by the end they are writing like pros.  The team does a great job with the coaching and there is a lot of background work to make it all possible, but in the end it’s much more well executed than any corporate training I`ve ever seen.  Another really cool thing is the fact that writers come from all over the world.  The US, UK and Australia are common but we have folks from all over the world. We recently had a cadet from Jordan.  It really reminds you that Star Trek’s message of unity and cooperation resonates around the world.  In a way, we’re building a little Federation of our own.  We’re all different with different backgrounds, but we come together around a common goal.  

How has your involvement with the Training Team contributed to your growth as a player?

Since I’m writing with people who are new I’m super careful to make sure I’m clear on what my character is doing.  I try to tod this all the time, but with discord it’s easy to get clarification.  In training, the sim is all people have so you need to stay sharp.  It also reinforces the need to read everything.  Again, these are things I should be doing anyway, but it’s a good reminder and I carry it over into my ship writing.  It also lets me see where people struggle and I can make sure a crew is ready to mentor appropriately.  

What advice would you give to those who wish to consider joining this taskforce?  

Just do it!  Prepare ahead of time so you have the bandwidth and let our team know that you may be delayed for a period.  When I do training, it needs to have the highest priority so the cadet experience is the best possible for our new players.  Have a welcoming attitude, but just like the company you work for, make sure our new “employee” is right for our group.    

Thank you so much for your insights on the Training Team!

You can read more about the Training Team, including how to join, on the wiki.

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