CHICAGO – October 6, 2017
“He’s making me feel like I’m unstoppable!” – Eliseo, Genesys Works Class of 2016, talking about a meeting with his mentor Adrian.
There’s no doubt about the long-lasting benefits of mentoring, particularly for young people. From preventing bullying and substance abuse in teenagers to reducing workplace anxiety in young professionals, there are many reasons to encourage supportive mentoring relationships. Many professionals also see the value in being a mentoras they build their network and share their experience with others.
All of this sparked a conversation between Accenture and Genesys Works Chicago, and ultimately led to the creation of the Alumni Professional Mentoring Program. After a successful pilot run in 2016, which connected six GW alumni with six Accenture employees, the Mentoring Program begins its second year with nearly twice as many participants.
What makes a great mentoring relationship? Julia Logan, Program Manager of Alumni Services at Genesys Works, believes it starts with matching the right mentor with the right mentee. “We employ near-peer mentoring,” says Logan, referring to a technique that matches mentors who are closer in age to their mentees. “By building a relationship with a recent college graduate, our alumni see what their next career steps might look like.”
The Mentoring Program takes place during the academic year, from September to June, and hosts quarterly events with activities geared toward building stronger relationships. These interactive events always include a professional development aspect. For example, Accenture covered the costs for Genesys Works mentees to complete the StrengthsFinder test. Mentoring pairs reviewed the results together and discussed how their strengths play out in the workplace and classroom.
However, this program is not just about work. After one of the mentoring events last year, everyone played a game of laser tag. “It’s important to get to know each other outside of the office,” says Logan. “It builds an even stronger relationship between our mentors and mentees.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the Alumni Professional Mentoring Program or becoming a Genesys Works Alumni Mentor, please reach out to Julia Logan.
About Genesys Works
Genesys Works is a nonprofit social enterprise changing the trajectory of life for disadvantaged high school students through meaningful work experiences. Its program consists of eight weeks of technical and professional skills training, a paid year-long corporate internship, college and career coaching, and alumni support to and through college. Its goal is to move more students out of poverty and into professional careers, creating a more productive and diverse workforce in the process. Since its founding in 2002, Genesys Works has grown to serve nearly 3,000 students annually in Houston, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington’s National Capital Region. To learn more, visit genesysworks.org.