How will AVI support mentors & mentees?
During our Pathway to Employment campaign, Communiteer, in partnership with AVI, will be bringing students and corporate volunteers together to create mentorship opportunities. They will support mentors & mentees all the way through.
While this isn’t in our wheelhouse, we’ve partnered with AVI to bring their 70 years of mentoring experience. They’re supporting students through regular check-ins, resources and content, and of course evaluating the outcomes of their experience to make sure we are achieving our goals set forward by this campaign.
But also, they are supporting mentors throughout, equipping them with the structure and tools to effectively guide the student through this program. While some corporate volunteers will be all too familiar with mentoring, AVI understands that for some this may be their first opportunity. All of our participants can rest easy with an expert like AVI on the bus!
Alongside mentoring, we’re also supplying a variety of skill-based, volunteering opportunities; Communiteer’s bread-and-butter. Students can get involved in social good, with the support of their mentor to ensure a great outcome for not-for-profits.
We’re doubling down on impact:
- Empowering students with the skills and experience they need to find employment; and
- Resourcing not-for-profits in need in the area of education and employment.
We’re using education today, for change tomorrow.
Let’s hear a little more about AVI from Executive Manager, Ispita Wright!
AVI is an international development organization. We primarily work with partner organizations in developing countries, 28 countries around the world. The modality through which we deliver our work is really this notion of volunteering for development. And a big part of volunteering for development is building capacity. And part of building capacity is this mentoring relationship that’s created between a volunteer and their counterpart in partner organizations.
We’ve created a number of opportunities for students to work with partner organizations on projects that help those students to unpack their own development and leadership potential.
How does mentoring empower students?
The journey for students is that they are often told you’re not skilled enough. You don’t have the assets and resources to contribute in the way that, let’s just say an engineer with 10 years of experience, 20 years of experience can contribute. And in a sense, that’s exactly correct. But our view at AVI is that students actually have a lot of assets and resources that they bring and a perspective that they bring.
We give opportunities to students through student mobility. But, one of the things that we’ve been talking to Victor (CEO & Co-founder at Communiteer) about, is that opportunities to actually engage in the workplace and therefore create employability options is something that is absolutely lacking.
Mentoring is an absolutely fantastic sort of pathway we think into employment. I think there is such an opportunity here for young people in universities to work more so with corporates in a mentoring capacity. And it’s great to see that Communiteer can provide the platform to do that.
What motivates someone to be a mentor?
Motivation comes in many forms, as we know, and what might motivate one mentor might not be the same thing that motivates another. The beauty of what we’ve developed here with the community, the beauty of mentoring in general, is that it does allow for us to tap into the various motivations.
A corporate volunteer, for example, who wants to climb the corporate ladder and contribute to giving through mentoring rather than volunteering. This is a great example of how you can do that. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Students need one person. I’m an old social worker from way back and we have a bit of a theory in social work; a person only needs two people in their orbit to really make a difference. If I think back on my own life, and if I think back to the people that have made a difference, I’m lucky that I had more than two, but at any one point, there were always two people in my camp.
And for the corporates that are thinking about joining this campaign, I would like to encourage you to think about is could you be one of the two people that could make a difference to another person in their career? And what are the things that you can contribute to doing that for a student?
This is an absolutely rare opportunity to have some one-on-one time with someone who can challenge you. They’re not always going to agree with what you say, and that’s the whole point of mentoring. Somebody who can push some buttons can get you thinking outside of your square. If nothing else, you’ve met another person who might’ve just broadened your horizons.
How will the PTE mentorship program work?
This model, or this journey you see above is distilled down from that 70 years of experience. And what we’ve come up with is this five-step journey, powered by the Communiteer platform, and facilitated behind the scenes by AVI. So I’ll just take you through the journey really quickly and outline also some of the time commitment, especially for the mentors.
Any mentor, mentee relationship, is synonymous with this notion of you gain what you give. That’s absolutely no difference in the engage phase. The matching of the mentor and mentee will happen via Communiteer during the engagement phase. That’s obviously all about preparing to mentor, but it’s also about preparing to be a mentee. Some of that will be self-directed. And some of that is reflective introspection. Why do I want to be a mentor? What do I want to get out of it?
The mentor meets the team and teammates mentor, and you plan your relationship. The goal setting is really important, and we will provide you with tools and tips to help guide the conversation and the discussion as well as templates to document what that looks like.
And the reason why it’s called emerge is that if you think about the caterpillar butterfly analogy, we want you, we want both parties, students and the mentor to emerge through this process. If you’re not emerging, if you’re not feeling uncomfortable, if you’re not growing, then probably we haven’t done our jobs. What are you not contributing? Through this 10-week process, we’re going to ask the mentors and mentees to meet roughly an hour a week. AVI will provide you with tools and tips, videos, links, all sorts of things that you can dip in and out of to help support your mentor and mentee relationship.
The complete phase is a really short, sharp reflection that won’t take too much of your time, but it’s an opportunity to just stop and reflect. What’s not gone well? Give us some feedback!
Then, we encourage mentors and mentees to stay engaged with each other, to continue in the relationship. It’s self-directed and determined by you and your mentee. The journey is going to be a little bit different for different people. We’re here every step of the way to help support and guide you.
For more information about our Pathway to Employment and ways to get involved, head to our microsite!