Posts Tagged ‘networking’
Sometimes in a classroom time is limited. But introductions should not be compromised due to the lack of time. A quick and fun for the mentors and mentees to become familiar with all the adult volunteers and for the mentees to become acquainted with their own mentors is to do “Mentor Speed Meetings”
Before the first class, mentors need to be alerted that they need to bring in interesting, physical items to show their teams. This is a great way to pull mentee(s) into a conversation. Mentors are required to bring in any of the following items to help them obtain an accurate picture of what their companies do and/or to share who they are as a person.
• Small parts or products your organization makes
• Organizational chart – with the intent of showing the relationship and support structure among various jobs within your organization
• Company brochures, newsletters, employee handbook
• List of entry-level jobs and a list of occupations that require continuing education (college or technical training)
• Awards or recognitions
• Items that represent your interests and hobbies
Start the class out by letting students know that all the mentors in the program have different backgrounds and careers and it will be beneficial for students to meet all of the volunteers. Students are starting to build their professional network and all the mentors in the room will become part of it.
Starting with their team, mentors will have four minutes to introduce themselves to the team and talk about their career. When the bell rings, mentors are asked to stand up and walk to the next table.
1) Get all of the teams settled down and introduce the activity.
2) Time four minutes and ring a bell or announce that time is up.
3) Once mentors are back at their original table, move to the second part.
Once activity one is finished, mentors are asked to share a little bit about themselves and the company they work for with their team. This includes what their company does and its inner workings. And at this time mentors are asked to bring
out a physical object they brought in to represent the company or them personally.
Mentors need to be prepared about what they need to talk about with all of the mentee teams. Give them these tips before their first meeting by email, mail, or phone calls.
• Job title and primary duties
• Education and experience required?
• Salary and benefits?
• Current outlook for new college graduates?
• Interests and skills needed for occupation
•Advantages/disadvantages of working in this field?
• What type of work schedule does this field require?
• Main responsibilities associated with work in your field?
With the help of mentors, Winning Futures talks to students about the importance of community service and how it helps others as well as the benefits for the individual providing the service (college admittance, resume building, leadership skills, etc.). Teams are required to complete a community service project to benefit a group in society.
By doing things that interest them, teens often gain new skills and find new career opportunities that they hadn’t thought of before. Students working with animal organizations may discover they would like to become a veterinarian. Those helping disabled individuals may find opportunities in health care or social services. In addition, the experiences gained in volunteer settings can provide teens with skills in leadership and decision-making, and also look attractive on college and scholarship applications.
Teens are exposed to people and circumstances they have not encountered in their life. Volunteers learn about respect and kindness through working with the homeless, serving the elderly at a retirement home, or helping disabled children create art. Teens develop better appreciation for the little things in life and also receive a personal satisfaction of knowing they have made a difference in someone’s life.
Besides finding new career opportunities, volunteering also provides teens with other skills necessary in the job market. Teens have a chance to learn important communication and interpersonal skills. The same leadership skills that help with their education will also help in the business world. Volunteering also provides teens a chance to increase their knowledge in certain areas. Those activities could add experience to a resume.
To find a place in your area to volunteer go to http://www.volunteermatch.org/.
Last week, I spoke at the National “Youth At-Risk conference through Georgia Southern University. Educators and youth serving professionals, this is a conference to have on your list for 2012. They had very innovative workshops with realistic activities and programs you can immediately implement. My workshop focused on creating and implementing mentoring programs for agencies who work with at-risk youth. http://ceps.georgiasouthern.edu/conted/nationalyouthatrisk.html
Our Harper Woods partner program recently took a College tour. The goal was to expose students to the benefits of continuing education and to get students excited about their future education and career goals. This trip, for many of the students, was their first time on a college campus and I think our goal was accomplished!
During the event, students went on a peer-guided tour highlighting important campus offices such as financial aid and admission, as well as the student union, campus bookstore and library. The students not only got to witness the academic environment, they also got a great “snapshot” of the social environment that college life offers.
In Winning Futures, we learned many things from our mentors. During one of our sessions we worked on interviewing techniques and the importance of having our own personal 30-second elevator pitch. Honestly, I felt nervous and a little uncomfortable talking about myself as we moved around the room practicing our pitch to all the mentors, and was relieved when the session ended. Never thinking that I would actually have a chance to use my pitch, it was less than one week later that I applied it in a job interview and got the job! It is all because of Winning Futures. I walked in, gave the interviewer my 30-second pitch about myself and got the job on the spot! It was so amazing and I’m very happy about it! I am so happy I was in this program, it helped me a lot. After being on the job for only one week, my new boss pulled me aside and told me that I was doing such a great job and that it looked like I would have a future with the company! Thank you again for teaching us how to be professional in the business world.
Tami is a mentee in our Winning Futures mentoring program. In each of our mentoring classes, our mentors and mentees use our life skills and goal setting curriculum to build relationships and gain life-long skills. Download the handout for 30 Second Networking activity at http://www.winningfuturesbooks.org/private/index.php
Often we are afraid to tell teens the truth about the skills they need to improve when preparing for their job search because we do not want to hurt their feelings. When you have mentors or business coaches working with them, there are a few simple things you can do to have this be a powerful process.
1-start by having students create a 20 second networking pitch that incorporates their skills, talents, and career interest.
2-have them practice the pitch with multiple mentors or business coaches
3-create a critique sheet for the adults to use where they check the areas the students are strong in and where they need to improve. For example:
- Good eye contact
- Good voice tone/speed of speech
- Good posture
- Enthusiastic attitude
- Used examples to back up strengths
- Stood to greet interviewer
- Used proper handshake
- Thanked interviewer
- Avoided Negative Comments
- Hat/hoodie Off Head
- Appropriate wardrobe
- Used Winning Futures in Pitch
- Used interviewer Name or Company Name
Then, give that form to the students and coach them on how they can improve.