“A leader’s role is to raise people’s aspiration for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there” – David Gergen.
One of my responsibilities at my work place was to implement a graduate trainee program for the local regional office and get potential candidates for openings in the company. We contacted several local and private universities for resumes. The exercise for selection involved the following steps: –
1. Telephonic interview, which disqualified 70% of the candidates.
2. Case studies with simple test in Excel and a simple Power Point presentation of a pre – advised topic. This disqualified 20% of the candidates.
3. Finally, an interview with a panel to select best 2 – 3 candidates.
From my observations, the students from Public universities performed poorly compared to their counterparties from private universities. The reason for most disqualification was not that the public university students were not qualified but it is because they lacked confidence, presentational skills and general ability to sell themselves as potential candidates.
“You do not have to be a person of influence to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they have taught me” – Scott Adams.
Professionals need to wake up and pay back to society by assisting fresh graduates. This can be done by mentoring fresh graduates on appropriate interview skills and how they can become competent in the tough job market. This assistance can be in the form of guidance – simple dress code, body language, enhancing confidence and leading them to the right career path which involve selection of appropriate courses, certifications and professional training programs.
According to Art Markman, in his article “The Five Types of Mentors You Need “, he describes the roles mentors can play when guiding teams and fresh graduates as follows:
1. THE COACH
This is the role a mentor plays when a mentee has a problem, the mentor does not solve the problem. The mentor asks questions that will help to identify the root cause of the problem. The coach suggests strategies for solving the problems and the mentee internalize them for future implementation if the strategy is appropriate.
A good coach also suggests perspectives on potential problems the mentee has not considered.
2. THE STAR
These are professionals or people with careers the mentee is inspiring to follow. The mentors give advice on the path that led to their success, how they operate and how they think. The mentee needs to observe closely on what the mentor does and how they engage with people.
3. THE CONNECTOR
This is a mentor with strong network connections. He is able to help the mentee build a list of contacts. The mentor can easily refer the mentee to the right person to assist or guide them on the right path.
4. THE LIBRARIAN
This is a mentor who knows how to do almost everything in the organization or the field the mentee would like to venture into, and high chances are that he knows all the hidden resource and traits of business.
This mentor helps the mentee not to reinvent the wheel when taking a new project or task.
5. THE TEAMATE
This is a mentor who listens and lends a sympathetic ear and is there to remind the mentee there are better days ahead by helping the mentee talk down the negative energy which will boost the mentee morale during tough days.
Generally, most professionals play one or more of these role in our organisation but we need to extend this to undergraduates and potential entrepreneurs. I am sure any contribution outside our organizations of work will be highly appreciated and will give professionals the satisfaction of giving back to society.