Research shows that anywhere from 70 to 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking. And others are filled before they are even posted. When we talk to young people about career aspirations, we often center that conversation on the academic and professional preparation that entails – the degrees they need, the certifications that are essential. But ultimately so much of our careers are shaped – and driven by –our social connections.
It feels difficult in this moment to center connections as an essential component of career success when so many young people feel disconnected – from their schools, from their peers, from the futures they envisioned for themselves before the pandemic. At iMentor, our model harnesses the power of personal relationships to help students succeed. We partner with high schools in communities in which a majority of students served will be first-generation college graduates. We match them with college-educated mentors who they communicate with online once a week using curricular prompts and meet once a month virtually.