(Image by Bryan Stewart from Pixabay)
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself”.
My Walk into the Future allows me to explore activities that I enjoy. This concept provides me unlimited access to find new ways to make a difference in the world.
I understand most of my blog articles center on my adventures, travel and things that cross my mind (social justice, current events, etc.) I continue to seek opportunities where I am making a difference and then decide how to highlight those efforts on the Walk into the Future blog. Please note, I do not take notes when I am engaged in an activity—I try to sit down after the fact and then document my thoughts to share with my readers.
I received an email from Daniel Botero who is one of my tree branches. Daniel’s name should be familiar with readers since he hosts the Mastering College to Career podcast, and I have been a featured guest 4 times so far. Daniel has added an interactive mentoring component to his program and invites national guests to speak with his mentees.
Mastering College to Career has grown quite a bit since I last sat down with Daniel in March 2020. He continues to add value to college students across the country by helping them understand how to make themselves attractive to recruiters.
The program helps colleges students LEARN how to build their online presence, resume, and mock interview skills. Surprisingly, COVID-19 allowed Daniel to extend his program since he uses Zoom meetings to check-in with his students.
The email Daniel sent me was a request to join him via Zoom to speak with his students. He did not provide a specific topic but wanted this to be a free form conversation so his students could ask me questions. My roles within Career Services at multiple schools was a targeted aspect of the conversation. Daniel wanted me to share my knowledge on the correct way for colleges students to network with employers to ensure they are visible and viable in the recruiting process.
I made sure to express being visible and viable is the key to transitioning from a college student to the world of employment. This was a bit of a revelation for some of the students because they assume a degree means the transition will be easy. This is a common thought of students everywhere I have been, but it is not true. There are a lot of talented graduates at every college and university, the key to going to work is being visible and viable to recruiters. Sounds simple but students without these key components are not on the radar of recruiters. Daniel’s students were amazed by this statement and quickly wanted to know how they can gain an advantage.
I shared a quick story of a student I worked with at UCF. This student had a GPA that was not high. This student was not a U.S. citizen, so this eliminated them from certain organizations that refused to sponsor students for the hiring process. This student was a native Spanish speaker so English was the second language. These are three huge strikes within the on-campus recruiting process and the student in this example was not feeling good about the chances of gaining employment after graduation. I met with this student, and he explained the things he PERCEIVED to hold him back from getting a job after graduation. I developed the visible and viable concept while working with this student.
I told him he needed to identify organizations he wanted to work for and identify when they were on-campus. He was advised to ensure that each time one of these organizations was on-campus, he would meet with them and expressed his interest working for them. He was schooled on how to ensure the recruiters saw him as someone with potential and not worry about a low GPA. Fast forward a bit and several organizations saw him as visible and viable and offered him interviews. Not only interviews but this same student received 6 job offers prior to graduation—not bad for someone who supposedly had the deck stacked against him.
Can you guess the name of this student? If you guess Daniel Botero, you would be right. The person who learned how to be visible and viable is teaching his students the same skills he learned sitting in my office a decade ago—small world! 😊
The reaction of the students on the Zoom session was a renewed energy. They needed to hear others have struggled with this process and overcame similar doubts. Sharing my knowledge with the students provided a reminder they control their destiny—no one can stop a determined person.
I received about 20 LinkedIn requests from students in this session to connect for future advice on their journey. I gladly accepted the requests and actively help these students anyway I can. I found a higher level of satisfaction by volunteering my time to help these students.
Inspiration Man continues to seek ways to make a difference in the world!
How do you reach back to help others? Irie!
“We all need someone who inspires us to do better than we know how”.