Within a dedicated website for the Aztec Mentor Program, juniors and seniors research for mentors to help them navigate the scary, uncertain waters of the real world after graduation in finding that ideal first job.
I was overly excited (and surprised) when Michelle reached out to me via email for Spring 2018 mentorship because she wanted to be an entrepreneur right out of college!
“I chose Marla as my mentor because of her experience mentoring entrepreneurs. I have always wanted to start my own company and wanted guidance into the right direction. I was drawn in initially by her story on her website. Her experience really fascinated me and I knew her mentoring me would be a good match,” said Michelle.
This generation of young people is making headlines through their activism, use of social media, diversity and demand to be heard, writes Washington DC’s top news site WTOP.
Furthermore, WTOP reports “There are a lot of factors that set Generation Z, or the post-millennials, apart,” said Stef Woods, a professor of American studies at American University.’ “Studies have shown they will tend to be a bit more entrepreneurial and will be pursuing higher education in slightly less numbers than millennials.” As a whole, the generation tends to be more individualistic and is also the most racially and ethnically diverse in the U.S., Woods said.
Since late January, Michelle and I have been on Zoom calls every few weeks to guide her in her entrepreneurial goals. This was not a fearful, uncertain upcoming college graduate. Michelle was self-directed from the moment we had our first call. She already knew what she wanted and researched her chosen industry prior to mentoring with me.
As she completed her last semester of college with her studies, we developed her first business venture. Her love of beauty and fashion drove her to learn the art of Microblading and she was very clear she did not want a traditional “desk” job!
She also found a 3-day certification course to gain her required skills for her venture. She achieved that during the last few months WHILE completing her classes in college AND being mentored.