Skills building through mentorship
This programme has a variety of benefits, including giving students the chance to experience a working environment before starting their careers, regardless of whether they choose to start-up or continue their studies to University. It also is beneficial for Hyundai to identify any future talent for the organisation.
After Skills for the Future, three important elements of advice from my mentoring experience have stuck with me:
1. Planning. To show the students how important the planning process is in business, we made sure to stop, evaluate and outline a plan. Before starting any tasks, I sat down the group to discuss what routes they looked to take for this task and plan the structure and timings of the project.
2. Presentations. One of my personal strengths is presentations and I used this to mentor the team in their own presentation skills. Allowing each team member a chance to present and develop their own style. I identified the stronger candidates and partnered them with others who weren’t as strong to help their development.
Networking & Practice. Using my contacts at HMUK, I introduced the team to our technical department who went on to help the students in part of their project. I also took the students to HMUK so they could practice their presenting skills to an audience of professionals. This helped their confidence but also got them networking which is a valuable business skill
When my team made it through to the European finals, I took the opportunity to introduce myself and network with other competing teams from across the continent to see how they approached the project. This helped me see what I could have done differently.
In early 2016, we were given the opportunity to travel to Junior Achievement (JA) Asia Pacific’s Company of the Year Competition in Seoul, South Korea. Being able to experience Korea with the students was amazing. In particular, meeting with students and mentors from Asia, and gaining insights into their cultures, was a great experience. The overall atmosphere was very welcoming and friendly and made it a real pleasure to participate.
I think we all gained a great deal from this experience, learning how the different cultures had developed their products and the different ways they marketed them. There was an overall environmental awareness from all the teams, which was very reassuring. I hope that in the future JA could arrange a World Final so that all the continents could come together and learn from each other.
It was great to observe our SoberDrive students imparting their knowledge and expertise to the JA Asia Pacific students.
I hope that all of the students I worked with gained valuable knowledge and experience through my mentoring and that what I’ve shared with them will go on to help them in their future careers. I also hope that, if they need anything further, the students feel that they can contact me in the future.
If I could give one piece of advice, it would be: Don’t let anything get in the way of the plans you make for yourself in the future, take every opportunity that is handed to you and run with it!
For those interested in becoming business volunteers, I would share that while initially, you might think ‘what have I gotten myself into?!’ you must remember that you are there as a guide to share your experience and at the end of the project, the benefits will outweigh your initial fears, and if you are fortunate enough, you will make great friends and have some awesome experiences along the way.
Written by Enzo Scognamiglio, a Hyundai business volunteer from the UK.