Online communication between students and alumni mentors.

Online communication between students and alumni mentors.

Posted on

Online communication between students and alumni mentors.

Career activities were not spared when the sweeping fifth wave of the coronavirus forced school activities in Hong Kong to move online early this year. The Careers and Life Planning (CLP) Team, of which I am the head, and the Alumni Association (AA) of our school utilized technology to establish connections between alumni and current students through an online internship program, despite the fact that the suspension of face-to-face classes severed many of the students’ social ties. The fact that we can involve alumni from countries other than the United States and the United Kingdom in the program is a plus.

Structure of the Online Mentoring Program

We made participation in the program mandatory for all Form 4 students (Grade 10 in the US system) because this experience is so important to students. A kickoff event was part of the mentorship program, and all participants were required to attend; mentors and mentees meeting virtually; sessions for alumni sharing online; furthermore, work shadowing and entry level position open doors.

Online communication between students and alumni mentors.

Sourcing mentors.

Alumni who had graduated within the previous ten years received invitations to serve as mentors via email. The Alumni Association sent out invitations to previous mentors and mobilized its network to find mentors from various generations of the alumni community.

Matching mentors with mentees

After recruiting forty mentors—roughly one-fourth of the student participants—we conducted an online briefing to explain the program’s specifics, provide mentors with the opportunity to virtually mingle, and shed light on Generation Z’s characteristics. The matching activity was straightaway. The organizing committee determined that a mentor-mentee ratio of one to four or five was ideal to maximize interactions between students and alumni. Additionally, they decided that group allocation would take into account career interest. The CLP Team distributed a Google Form to the students and gathered data regarding their preferences for various occupations and job fields, such as banking, engineering, marketing, law, and medicine. The Alumni Association sent mentors a Google Form with the same question to make sure that the information on that form was consistent with the data from the mentee survey.

The time had come for the kickoff after months of preparation. The high level of participation of the participants is essential to the success of an online mentorship experience. We started the event with a Kahoot activity to accomplish this goal. Mentors and mentees had been assigned to groups based on their career interests by the organizing committee. By responding to a series of questions from members of the organizing committee as quickly and accurately as possible, each group competed with other teams in their own breakout rooms.

The topics covered included school knowledge, mathematics, and cryptocurrency. In the breakout rooms, the groups had 30 seconds to talk about and respond to each question. Mentors and mentees gained a deeper understanding of one another through this activity for breaking the ice.

In order for mentees to comprehend the significance of resilience in the face of life’s difficulties, mentors discussed how they had triumphed over adversity. Mentors needed to listen to mentees about their future goals and bridge the communication gap between the two worlds rather than lecturing them about the so-called golden rules of success.

An informative session about the mentorship program’s requirements for students and the program’s career exploration opportunities followed.

The event came to a close by reopening the breakout rooms, and each mentor was required to select a date for the following virtual meet-up with mentees. As evidence of their willingness to maintain communication, each group was required to provide the organizing committee with a group picture taken during this session.

Sessions for alumni sharing online.

Each mentor indicated in a Google Form after the kickoff which of the nine online sharing sessions they could assist with as either a mentor or a facilitator to encourage further interactions between mentors and mentees. The conceptualizing action of the instructions meeting for coaches had produced the subjects of the nine meetings, which spread over various vocation fields and parts of profession arranging — for instance, banking, regulation, medication, coding, humanities, and CV readiness. At least one of the sharing sessions had to be attended by each mentee.

Crucial to success.

Whether we like it or not, career activities driven by technology are increasingly becoming the norm, and more of these events will soon be held virtually. Interactions between participants are critical to the success of online sessions. Mentors should avoid lecturing participants and strike a delicate balance between disseminating information and engaging them in interactivities. The organizers should make every effort to provide opportunities for meaningful exchange. This is especially significant in the web-based mentorship program, which endeavors to thump down correspondence obstructions and assist with building enduring connections.

Online events of this kind can be a viable alternative to in-person events with careful design and planning. Mentors and mentees can participate in the mentorship program from the convenience of their own homes or workplaces, bringing the school community together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *