Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the 100K Mentor Challenge?
The 100K Mentor Challenge is a national movement and coalition of students from across the country partnering with ProMazo to provide 100,000 Mentors to 100,000 students from underrepresented backgrounds during the upcoming academic year.
The entire recruiting process has been upended because of the coronavirus and it has decimated the chance for students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, to build the networks that are crucial to securing full time work after college. We wanted to provide those without a network to fall back on with the support that will be necessary to survive this crisis and ensure we don’t have a lost generation just when diversity efforts within higher education have begun to pay off. Our goal is to create immersive mentorship experiences so students can receive the guidance they need before graduation, helping them develop lifelong advocates for their professional careers. We also hope it will be a new way for companies to sponsor people from underrepresented backgrounds to join their firm and recruit the next generation of leaders.
Which companies have signed up?
We will be announcing our initial partner companies soon, but we are extremely grateful for all the support our launch companies have given us. We have developed partnerships with over 15 Fortune 500’s for our launch in a variety of industries ranging from Insurance to Retail & CPG. We expect to have over 30 Fortune 500 companies by the end of our first year and encourage any company large or small to reach out to us if they wish to partner.
What is ProMazo?
ProMazo provides outsourced services for companies, but what differentiates the organization is they blend the top 5% of vetted undergraduate and graduate talent from the best universities in the world in areas like Machine Learning, Design, Software Development with its full time managers who provide oversight and lead all of the work. Through this unique talent pool, ProMazo creates a variable workforce for its corporate partners that allows companies to secure the skills they need while allocating their human capital costs in a dynamic and flexible way. This happens at a cost that is less than traditional third party staffing or consulting firms and more often than not, less than the company can secure talent themselves. Through ProMazo, not only does the company get access to this skilled, flexible and diverse workforce, but they also get to build relationships with top talent who can form the next generation of their employees. And best of all, through the program, ProMazo supports the continual development of its students and with its work stipends enables students to pay for their education and avoid the student debt trap too many Americans face.
Can you give a little background on ProMazo and how it relates to the 100K Mentor Challenge?
Sure. ProMazo started out as a student club at Notre Dame and the idea was that students often don't get a chance to showcase their talent while they're still in school. And that for more and more employers, it is critical to showcase your skills and demonstrate that you have experience in the field you want to go work in. But it was a Catch-22 because even though companies wanted students to have experience, universities only offered jobs at say the dining hall or stacking books at the library, which while important jobs, did not help a student position themselves for their professional field. So about 5 years ago, as part of his potential PhD thesis, Brett Hummel had the idea to build mathematical models that could predict where someone would fit within a company based on how they did while they were working remotely while in school. ProMazo became an outsourcing solution for companies looking for high quality talent from the world’s best universities, accessing it in a flexible manner with ProMazo’s professional managers overseeing the work. What started as a student club eventually became a movement, with over 400 Fellows who have gone through the program at ten chapters, partnering with a variety of companies from Google to Unilever, Whirlpool and Charles Schwab.
Through ProMazo’s work, they came into contact with the PRSA Silicon Valley who were excited about what ProMazo was doing with students and together they wondered if there was another way that they could have an impact? ProMazo went back to its student network to ask what was needed most and everyone was clamoring for guides and mentorship. And so together with the student teams, we created the idea of the 100K Mentor Challenge.
How did the student teams come together and how does ProMazo fit?
When ProMazo launched the initiative, ProMazo reached out to its student network looking to see if anyone wanted to help lead it with them. Over 40 students raised their hands to lead the initiative. Now we have a student technical team building out the app, a separate team creating the algorithms to support the app, a team engaging universities and students, and then our team which focuses on developing and executing the strategies to build support with companies. Everyone on the team is giving their time and saw this initiative as a critical need that they had to support.
ProMazo sees this project as its way to give back during this time of national crisis and donated all of its technical and professional expertise to set everything in motion. ProMazo’s role is to support the student teams and make them the leaders of the initiative because one of ProMazo’s core missions is to showcase student talent and to give them impactful leadership experiences.