Nov 20, 2019·6 min read
Take a moment to reflect on your own journey; think back to your early professional career, back to your time at university or maybe even as far back as high school. Who was the person you would reach out to when you hit a challenge? Who helped you identify your strengths long before you decided to make it your major in college? Who coached you through your first professional interview? Whoever that special person was, their time and energy helped make a lasting impact on your life and helped to give you the tools you would need to be successful. Through the TiE Young Entrepreneurs (TYE) Mentoring Program, you have the unique opportunity to pay it forward by helping the next generation.
For the past 14 years, TYE has been committed to fostering youth entrepreneurship through regular programming, workshops, competitions and more. As students work in teams to build startups, you have the opportunity to share your expertise with these talented young people and motivate them to achieve their professional goals.
At TYE, we believe in creating a brave space for young people to experiment and grow. In a busy world, it can be tough to find time to mentor the next generation. However, here are some facts that will make you say “yes” to mentoring! According to MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, young adults who have a mentor are:
55% more likely to enroll in college
130% more likely to hold leadership positions
90% interested in becoming a mentor themselves
You already know that life’s greatest investments don’t involve a financial commitment. As we move towards becoming a more transactional society, we often fail to realize that monetary resources alone cannot bring about a positive change in people. As a mentor, you have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of young people and empower them to deal with day-to-day challenges with both creativity and resilience.
How can high-schoolers benefit from mentoring?
The need for effective mentoring is greater today than ever before. Those weren’t just stats that you read, but they are a testimony to the power mentoring has in shaping the next generation. Studies have shown that students who have the support of a mentor are more likely to set career higher goals for themselves.
Arun Nijhawan, an alum of the TYE program and our TYE Instructor for the 2019–2020 program year, says “As a TYE student, my experience was deepened by the mentors that guided my team. I remember feeling inspired by their personal stories and expertise. Each of their names is still fresh in my mind!”
Life seems to have come full circle. Today, Arun is a successful entrepreneur working on his second company while also teaching and supporting TYE students with their start-up ideas. “Working with TYE kids is an extremely rewarding endeavor. I get so much energy from sharing my career and life stories, it’s made these experiences more meaningful to me! It’s so energizing to see them really soaking up the knowledge and growing in our interactions.”
Research also indicates that the support lent by mentors plays a crucial role in making adolescents realize that they aren’t alone in their struggles. All it takes is a few hours a week for you to be a positive influence in a high-school student’s life by helping them:
Develop a road map for life: under the able guidance of a mentor, students are able to self-evaluate their progress. This, in turn, determines their plan for life after school. From picking out the right major to deciding the kind of work they want to do, students begin to set goals for themselves and strive to achieve them.
Fosters adaptability: life-skills are just as important as the knowledge imparted within classrooms. Students develop a universal set of skills like negotiation, budgeting, communication and more when working closely with a mentor. Since they’re exposed to so many facets of life, they become adaptable to change ensuring their success in any environment.
Finding their passion: by developing a solid relationship with their mentor mentees begin to recognize their own core strengths and interests. They find inspiration to do things that they, both, love doing and excel at.
How can mentors bring about a change?
Every year, senior professionals, founders, and business leaders take time out of their busy schedules to join TYE as mentors. This gives them an opportunity to reflect on their own practice and gain perspective about fast-changing practices and audience demands.
Mentoring is a two-way street. By signing up to be a mentor, one not only helps the mentee in realizing their full potential but also helps in rewarding oneself with a unique experience of self-growth and fulfillment. Here’s how one benefits from becoming a mentor:
Enhances supervisory or leadership skills: a successful leader knows the importance of establishing positive and trusted relationships within a team. When working closely with mentees, especially young adults, mentors get a chance to sharpen their leadership skills like empathy and active listening. Practicing these sets of skills with mentees only amplifies a mentor’s ability to strengthen relationships at work and beyond.
Witness exponential growth in your mentee: a mentor has the best seat in the house to observe a mentees’ progress. It is rewarding to see your mentee smoothly surmount steep learning curves along their journey. A mentor’s support helps mentees unchain themselves from their own insecurities as they successfully take on challenges using their newly sharpened acumen and judgment.
Learn a thing or two from your mentee: there is a perceived hierarchy in this relationship wherein mentees learn from mentors. However, mentors often find themselves learning a lot from mentees too. Since mentees have more recently been in school, they have access to the latest trends and techniques in the industry. If you take the time to learn more about them and their interests, you’ll be surprised to find that your mentee is a great source of knowledge in their own right.
Here’s how you can make a difference
“Our TYE mentors play a vital role in helping our young people develop life skills that they will utilize in high school, college and beyond” says Katie Quigley Mellor, Director of TiE Young Entrepreneurs. “I think back to the mentors who graciously gave me their time and patiently supported me as I developed my confidence and communication skills. I am dedicated to this work because of the mentors who inspired me and I hope that many of you will join us as a TYE mentor to help inspire the next generation in Boston.”
There are plenty of excuses out there for you to not sign-up; not enough time, too many commitments, etc. However, our hope is that if you take a deeper look, you’ll find even more reasons why you should. Your journey and experience can serve as valuable guidelines for young-minds who are eager to learn and who are not afraid to apply that knowledge. Even one conversation can inspire students to follow their dreams, chase their passion and achieve greatness. A small step forward can go a long way in creating a wholesome environment for students to think freely and succeed.
So sign-up to be a TYE mentor and take the first step to make a positive difference in someone’s life. Registering to be a TYE mentor is easy and rewarding, click here or email Katie Quigley Mellor at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.