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Why Mentorship is Important

Having a college degree alone doesn’t mean a student is prepared to enter the workforce.

In South Africa, 85% of college graduates say they do not feel their diploma has helped them find work, and an astounding 33% of college graduates up to age 25 are still unemployed. A British Council study estimated Nigeria’s college graduate unemployment at 23%. In Kenya, it takes an average of five years for a college graduate to find a job.

 

Even with all of these college graduates in Africa looking for work, job recruiting agencies and businesses report screening dozens of resumes just to find a few qualified candidates. Consequently, many positions go unfilled for lack of graduates who have the appropriate entry-level professional skills and training.

 

This issue is not exclusive to Africa and other developing countries. Currently, most high schools and higher education facilities in the United States do not incorporate curriculum to teach students the skills needed to be successful in their first few years of work. A recent BBC article noted that many early career professionals are assumed to enter the workforce with the knowledge of a typical working environment and expectations for their entry level position. However, many youth have not received the necessary training and struggle through the first few years of their career.

 

A significant number of youth are looking for employment in developing countries and the United States who have not been trained on vital business skills or how to search for and obtain a job in their field. This is where the GMI mentorship program comes in. Our mentorship program closes the knowledge gap by exposing youth to global business practices to better prepare them to enter the job world.

Here are a few examples of the skills and training missing from their education:

  • How to cultivate a business network
  • Job interview preparation and best practices
  • Applying good communication skills in a corporate environment
  • Working with an international team
  • Self-reflection and setting personal business goals

HOW SUCCESS IS MEASURED

Mentees learn a new skillset that helps them land and keep their first professional job.

Using the GMI curriculum, students acquire tools to help them get that job. This includes their own professional network with many international contacts, a strong resume or CV, and coaching on how to be their best in a job interview.

 

We help them use their new skills and professional network to set up at least five job interviews prior to graduation while they are still actively participating in the mentorship program. We facilitate this process by connecting the students to local and international companies looking to hire early career professionals with their newly obtained business skills.

 

To provide quantitative data supporting our program, we require each incoming mentee to complete a survey to assess their knowledge about basic business skills coming into the program. Once the student has finished the mentorship program, we have them complete the same survey to evaluate progress made during their mentorship.

FAQs ABOUT GLOBAL MENTORSHIP INITIATIVE

GMI FAQs

What are the requirements to be a mentor?

The primary requirement is a desire to share knowledge and experience with a student who is ready to enter the business world.

Mentor candidates are screened and interviewed to ensure the match will be a good fit. Mentors receive training on the GMI mentorship program, so they know exactly how to help their students.

  • Mentor candidates should be at least 25 years old and have a BA/BS in their chosen field.
  • Complete a criminal background check independently conducted through Sterling Volunteers.
  • Agree to a 3 to 6-month commitment for the mentoring relationship.

Mentors guide their students through the mentorship program via remote teleconference. The mentor and the student meet on a regular schedule for 14 one-hour sessions.

How difficult is it to be a mentor? What is the time commitment?

You can do this! You don’t need to be an expert, just follow the Mentor Guide and add your own personal experience. Mentors often learn a lot from the GMI program.

Your commitment as a mentor:

  • Participate in a two-hour live online mentor training course.
  • Complete 14 one-hour mentoring sessions weekly or bi-weekly.

How do I sign-up to be a mentor?

How are students selected for mentorship?

GMI partners with university professors to identify hard-working students who are eager to start their careers. Students are categorized by major so they can be matched with a mentor in their field when possible. Students attend a pre-mentorship orientation and will establish their LinkedIn accounts before the mentorship begins.

Once I am matched with a student, what happens next?

GMI will provide instructions for how to engage with your student. Introduce yourself following notification of a match and agree on when to meet for your first session. GMI provides email templates to communicate with your student to reduce your time commitment.

How can my company participate in the GMI program?

GMI partners with companies to identify experienced business professionals who are ready to share their knowledge. Our primary need is mentors. Companies may also sponsor a group of mentorships and can display the GMI logo in their social responsibility presentations. To learn more about corporate sponsorship contact: jon.browning@globalmentorship.org

How do students benefit from a GMI mentorship?

Mentors follow a specific program track to ensure students receive the full benefit of mentorship. Mentored students are more competitive job candidates because of the GMI program and are often selected for interviews by GMI business partners. Mentors may also introduce students to job opportunities, but this is not a requirement.

What resources are available to mentors?

GMI provides everything you need to guide your mentee.
You don’t need to be an expert, just follow the Mentor Guide and add your own personal experience.

Mentorship resources include:

  • The GMI Mentor Guide
  • Training on how to be a great mentor
  • Email templates for communicating with your student every week
  • Zoom conference service for mentorship session
  • All materials the student uses during the mentorship

What will students learn during the mentorship?

70% of the mentorship is focused on helping a student prepare to get their first career job. 30% is dedicated to helping them excel in their first job and understanding how to thrive in the business world.

Topics include:

  • Establishing a professional business network using LinkedIn and creating a unique personal brand to attract job recruiters.
  • Creating a career plan and setting measurable goals.
  • Developing specific soft skills to excel in business.
  • Effective communications when working in a global business environment.
  • Creating a resume/CV that gets noticed using keywords.
  • How to find the right job.
  • Communication templates and guides for conducting a job search.
  • Mastering the job interview process.
  • How companies evaluate their employees and how to distinguish yourself on the job.

What resources are available to students?

Students are provided with study materials for each session to help them learn and adopt GMI business tools. Over 50 guides and templates are available to students. This includes advanced LinkedIn training to help them build their business network and 10 templates for how to make LinkedIn business connections.

What happens at the end of the 14-session program? Can I continue my mentorship relationship?

Your formal mentorship will end after 14 sessions. As a mentor, you can decide if you want to continue with informal ad hoc discussions with the student after the mentorship concludes. You are under no obligation or expectation to continue the relationship.

What are the benefits to a company that participates in the GMI program?

  • Partnering with GMI can provide cost-effective, prequalified candidates for employment.
  • Early access to mentored students before they graduate.
  • Shortens the time to full productivity for newly hired employees.
  • Promotes diversity in the organization.
  • Increased employee purpose and skills development for mentors.
  • Contributes to social responsibility commitments (United Nations SDGs 4,5,8).

What are the goals of the GMI mentorship program?

  • Helping mentees find and prepare for a career job.
  • A developed career plan for every mentored graduate.
  • At least 5 job interviews lined up before graduating for every student.
  • At least 100 professional business contacts for every student.
  • Develop a global business network to support mentored students.
  • Provide GMI business partners with qualified, pre-screened candidates.
  • Make a positive impact in communities around the world through mentorship.