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Written by Kirk Edelman

From The 74 Million to USA Today, the media is talking about how mentorships can help students complete college and prepare for their careers. That’s why it’s shocking to learn that one in three Americans will reach the age of 19 without having an adult mentor. However, more and more students are seeking valuable career input throughout college.

The benefits of mentorships cannot be overstated. They not only teach important career lessons to students, but also provide inspiration and confidence. Garrett Mintz, founder of Ambition in Motion, a program to help college students find fulfilling careers, writes that Americans who feel supported during college are more likely to thrive during their careers.

According to the National Mentoring Partnership, youth with mentors are 130 percent more likely to land in leadership positions. And as today’s generation enters the workplace, mentorships continue to bring value. A recent survey from Deloitte found that millennials planning to stay with their new company beyond five years are twice as likely to have a mentor.

That’s why Siemens Financial Services (SFS) is collaborating with New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) on a dynamic mentorship initiative to help the next generation cultivate the skills necessary to succeed in the modern workplace. Like SFS, NJIT merges technology with business acumen, making this partnership a perfect fit. With 10 mentors and 10 mentees, the new program will offer a flexible structure that supports varying students’ mentoring needs across specific learning goals, preferences, and learning styles.

Mentorship programs must be individualized to be successful, according to Jennifer Labin, principal partner of TERP Associates, a firm that specializes in creating public- and private-sector mentoring programs. Our flexible program structure with NJIT will allow for both mentor and mentee to define the relationship. This practice in communicating goals and expectations is a valuable part of mentorship in and of itself.

Mentorships are a win-win for mentee and mentor. These immersive experiences provide students with the opportunity to develop useful post-graduation relationships. They also learn valuable skills that prepare them to transition from college to the corporate world. Mentors have the opportunity to give back while engaging with the next generation. Both have the opportunity to practice leadership skills in a one-on-one, low-risk setting.  

I believe that it’s every employee’s responsibility to share their knowledge with the next generation. It’s a sentiment shared throughout Siemens. As a company that grew from an entrepreneur’s vision into multi-dimensional industry innovator, we understand the importance of fostering the next generation of entrepreneurs and world-changing innovators. Mentorship is a vital part of our mission to drive innovation forward, create lasting impacts on our society, and keep the United States competitive. We are excited to collaborate with NJIT to do just that.