ECHO matches Dutch students with a non-western background with young professionals from ABN-AMRO, Hogan Lovells, KPMG, KPN, NS and Shell. During this process, the mentors support the mentees in their transition to the labour market.
Students with a non-western background are often the first ones in their families who go to study at a higher education institution, many of them don’t have direct access to a network of business professionals. For these students it is more challenging to transition to the labour market. Questions these students often deal with are: Which job suits me? What are my strengths? How do I approach employers? How can I set up an attractive curriculum vitae? How do I present myself in an adequate manner?
The Mentoring Program is an initiative of Shell Netherlands, since 2011 various other companies have joined. The program is intended for students in the last phase of their studies and who are planning to find a job after their graduation. Students who have recently graduated (maximum 6 months) and experience difficulties in finding a job are also invited to sign up and participate.
The Mentoring Program is a project that is carried out each year and is planned from September to June. During the program three plenary meetings take place:
During the kick-off meeting the Mentoring Program and the 'rules' are discussed, the mentor and mentee are introduced to each other and the first appointments are scheduled.
During the review meeting a workshop is organized that responds to the needs of the mentors and the mentees. The workshop for the mentors is aimed at developing coaching skills. The workshop intended for the mentees mainly focuses on applying for a job and networking skills.
For the plenary closing meeting a ceremony will take place where the mentees and mentors will receive a certificate for participating in the Mentoring Program.
In between the plenary meetings the mentees are expected to schedule individual appointments together with their mentor. During these appointments several topics are to be addressed, like ambitions, doubts, personal goals and other topics the mentee wants to discuss in regards to his/her transition to the labour market. It is expected of the mentee to act in a proactive manner and take responsibility for setting up meetings, the mentor mainly offers support and guidance where needed.
The purpose of the Mentoring Program is allowing a two way street: the mentors are able to help students with their transition to the labour market in an informal way. On the other hand, the mentors also want to learn from the mentees. The involved companies believe diverse teams are more innovative and therefore feel the importance of developing professionals in the area of diversity and inclusion. Our aim is to facilitate mutual knowledge and inspiration with this initiative.
ECHO has been asked to coordinate the Mentoring Program.
Are you interested in participating in the Mentoring program, do you want more detailed information or do you have any questions? You can contact Pravini Baboeram via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.