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.
Who are the people behind the 100K Mentor Challenge?
The leaders of the movement are students who are directly impacted by the changes that are happening in recruiting and ProMazo. ProMazo through its student networks was able to help assemble a wide variety of students to lead different parts of the movement. The 100K Mentors Challenge has over 40 students working on the initiative to ensure we reach our goals. Currently, there are four different teams working together to turn our idea into a reality. The App Team is building out the technical platform on iOS and Android, the Algorithm Team focuses on correctly matching students to mentors, the University Team is focused on developing and executing the strategy to register students as mentees on the app and the Corporate Engagement team’s goal is to build a coalition of corporate supporters and register mentors. ProMazo has donated part of the technology to run the mentorship program and because of its work with companies and students in the past is guiding the program as their way of giving back during this crisis.
How do companies or individuals get involved?
i. Take the Corporate Pledge ii. Showcase the program to employees & ERGs iii. Encourage senior leaders to join the program and engage their team members iv. Share that their company pledged on social media and during the program showcase stories of their mentors & mentees v. Consider sponsoring the initiative
What commitment does a company make to mentoring?
Each company will set a goal as part of their pledge for how many mentors they want to bring into the program. We let each company set the goal based on their own specific circumstances, but for larger organizations we recommend a goal of 100-1,000 professionals. As part of their commitment, companies will develop an engagement campaign for the initiative to be shared internally as well as on their social accounts to raise awareness among their staff.
Is the expectation that one mentor is assigned to one student based on their interests, and that they have an ongoing, monthly relationship?
Mentors have the option of mentoring up to 5 students at a time, but we expect most to mentor one person at a time. The app will suggest potential mentees based on 20 factors ranging from professional aspirations of the student and industry of interest to personality and leadership style. After the match, they will meet at least monthly for one hour through a video conference call.
What does the program cost?
The whole program is completely free because we want to be able to help as many students as possible. If a company wants to make a bigger impact and help us support the student development and engagement teams who have donated their time, amplify our reach to students across the country/world, track data on their impact and recruit students out of the program, we also have sponsorship opportunities to help defray the long term costs of operating the program.
We have two impact levels: First, a Student Impact where companies can sponsor student teams that are working on developing the platform, support the operating costs of the program, recruit their mentees and engage on a deeper level with participants across the country. Second, a larger National Impact where companies have the opportunity to showcase their commitment to being a positive force for social change and connect with the entire mentee pool on a national level through a variety of new engagement opportunities we have developed.
What does a partnership entail?
We ask each corporate partner to take the 100K Mentor Pledge which is composed of 5 parts:
i. Set a target goal for employees to join as mentors (overall or by field). For Fortune 500 companies we suggest a goal of 500 or 1,000 mentors. ii. Select the focus for a company’s mentors (choose the types of students that the firm wants to help, for example women in STEM, African Americans or 1st generation college students) iii. Cross promote the program internally & externally (choose the ERGs, experience level or types of employees that the company would like to engage through the program and secure their support) iv. Choose 3 C-Suite Leaders to join the Challenge and have them send a message to their team members encouraging them to register v. Consider opportunities to sponsor the student teams working on the app and expand its impact
How will the program work?
The app is a completely automated and self-managed system so it reduces the operating costs for our corporate partners to close to zero. All we ask is that a company helps us promote the app within their employee base so that we can get a wide representation and sign ups from every firm.
On the mentor level, they will first download the app (available on iOS & Android). We wanted to make the whole process simple because we know how busy many professionals are. When they register, the app will ask about their background as well as how they want to help. They can select from a variety of diverse groups to support ranging from women in STEM to first generation college students who are African American. Based on shared characteristics like profession, interests, etc., we match the mentor with the best mentee(s). After the match, the mentor can schedule their first meeting with their mentee through the app and work with them over a four month “Season” using the guides and structure the app provides or go off on their own. After every Season, the mentor has the option of switching to a different mentee if they desire and adjusting the types of people they wish to help.
Can anyone be a mentor? Are there particular levels/functions/areas of discipline that matter?
The students will come from a wide variety of backgrounds and majors so we will be looking to bring on a wide variety of mentors. We also do not limit our mentors to a certain seniority level and encourage young professionals to register as mentors because we feel every professional can bring a unique perspective to help a student through this difficult time.
Who manages the app & ensures the operations of the program?
The app is managed by ProMazo to ensure the reliability and uptime for all the technical components of the app. They will also oversee any user flagging actions to determine if anyone has acted outside the Terms of Service and the pledges that both the mentors and mentees sign when they register for the app.