Latino Heritage Month
Latino Heritage Month:
Professional mentoring is in high demand.
This year Latino Heritage month was an exciting opportunity to connect with many university students. I started in my backyard, Fresno State University (CSUF) where they had Baile Folklorico, Mariachi, tacos and much more! The event was lively and a great celebration of our heritage. During this event, I was able to distribute my free E-Book Dream to Achieve. The students were really interested in learning more about future events. I then headed to San Francisco State University where I delivered a Networking 101 workshop. We had the opportunity to explore how our networking can lead to many opportunities in the future. Then at University of Texas Arlington, I presented the Power of a Mentor Workshop. We learned how to find a mentor and how to turn them into a sponsor. Lastly, I was able to deliver my Keynote on how to F.I.N.D. a great Career at West Texas A&M. It was an honor to present my story and some of the lessons I learned along the way; And by “Lessons” I mean the Failures during my career journey. As I reflect on the many questions that students asked, I want to provide a few key takeaways:
We need more Professionals that can provide resources. I was inundated with question during the events. There are many students asking questions about how they can effectively network. How they can effectively interview. Or just simple questions on what my day-to-day activities look like as a consultant. I can see that students need both mentorship and guidance. They want and need to understand the pitfalls during the networking, interviewing, internship, and full-time employment. Many of these students are already thinking about graduate programs and selective internships during the summer. Career centers are great way for them to learn about the basics but the subtle nuances of each industry are best explained by a professional that is currently in the role.
We need to encourage students to take calculated risks. We need to provide an environment for the students to take risks. Many students were afraid to apply to some careers because they were unsure if they qualified. Some actually did not want to apply simply because they thought it was out of their reach or because they had been denied by other firms. We need to teach our students that it’s ok to fail during the recruiting process. We need to let them know to aim high because you never know where the road will take them. And if they do not reach their target firm, they still have the ability to pivot and grow. For example, Consulting was in my mind during undergrad but it took me many years and 2 positions later to actually land a consulting gig.
We need to provide meaningful connections. Professionals have powerful networks. Opening up your “rolodex” (Yes, I know what that is, do you?) can really make an impact or at least provide a learning opportunity for these young students. They are enthusiastic about learning about different career options. There are still many first-generation students trying to figure things out on their own and it’s up to professionals to provide them with some connections so that they are able to explore different career options. They need help from many different perspectives. Even connecting them with other students at a different university can make the difference. I was able to connect students that were in the same circumstances but attending different schools. They can see that others are going through the same obstacles at other universities and can learn from each other’s success.
I was fortunate enough to visit these universities and a few more to come. I had a blast, presenting and educating students on what it takes to land a great career. Some of us know that careers are usually not what we expected and that there are many different jobs throughout the journey. It’s time we get more professionals to share their stories and provide some useful tools that will make our next generation better prepared to every changing marketplace.
Are you ready to join?
Find out more about mentoring at your alma mater or local college.