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Why students need mentorship for success

What is mentorship?

Mentorship is when an older, experienced individual works with a younger person to give them knowledge and guidance. For example, college students are paired with experienced adults in their field of study.

Mentorship is a:

Supportive adult who works with a young person to build a relationship by offering guidance, support, and encouragement to help the young person’s positive and healthy development over a period of time

Andre Perry, Hechinger Report (2018)

Mentors give students an opportunity to gain insight on work expectations and beginning their professional careers after graduation.  

Why do students need mentorship?

Mentorship prepares students for the real world. Transitioning into employment after years of education is hard. Students and graduates face many areas of challenge when entering the workforceMentors can guide students and graduates for this.

Student and mentor discussing

Mentors can provide students with:

  • Encouragement & confidence
  • Experience-based knowledge
  • Insight on industry expectations
  • Insight on starting a career path 
  • Advice for everyday success
  • Networking opportunities

According to the American Psychological Association, “mentored individuals often earn higher performance evaluations, higher salaries, and faster career progress than non-mentored individuals.” 

Without mentorships, students likely face “slow career progression”. Youth that lack mentorship must figure out the complexity of professional careers on their own.

Students need this guidance from a knowledgeable adult, as technical skills aren’t taught in school. As a result, they learn  learn skills that will help them get relevant jobs (ex. Interview, social and interpersonal skills). 

Read more: Introduction to Mentoring

student looking at his own resume

Mentored students gain an overall understanding on how to succeed academically and professionally. Mentorship during education results in learning the skills that are useful in their field. 

A suggestion for institutions

Institutions and facilitators must place more focus on career preparation. Students need skills outside of an academic perspective to succeed in the workplace. 

Schools must adopt more work-based learning programs. Work-based learning is an instructional approach to classroom teaching that connects it to the workplace.

Students, especially international & minorities need this support. They must feel welcomed to seek assistance. This can be done by having a diverse faculty to encourage minorities towards educators they relate to. 

 Andre Perry, Hechinger Report (2018)

Girl looking at different options and progress

Facts on mentorship in College

Less than 50% of College graduates indicate having an encouraging mentor as a student 

25% of graduates indicated not using resources for career prep

25% of graduates indicate “never receiving career advice from faculty or staff”

Balancing academics and career-prep

Graduates and students struggle to find and get placed into entry-level jobs. They possess industry knowledge but lack skills needed to thrive in the workplace. 

83% of educators feel students are career-ready.

44% of students and

34% of employees agree. 

Student with graph breakdown

As a result, educators continue to leave workplace skills unaddressed. Additionally, graduates are left unemployed because employers see them as unprepared. 

A gap between schools, students and employers exists. Career-readiness is not taught, and students have little to no technical and professional skills. 

Read more: Challenges faced by graduates & students in the workplace

Gaps can be reduced through mentors. They take on teaching career-readiness and technical skills while educators stick to academics. As a result, students have both sets of knowledge to progress from education into a career. 

How can Motify help?

Motify Network bridges students to their institutions and companies. It is designed to make resources more accessible & easy to find.  Company employees can build their individual profile to reflect their mentorship qualifications. These individuals will then be connected to students and/or graduates that are seeking mentorship. 

Students will then learn social, professional and technical skills before entering work. If you’re interested in learning more about how Motify benefits these groups, please follow these links according to your role:

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