Four years ago, we launched a pro-bono project that mentored incoming international students as they matriculated to American institutions. We were working 60-hour weeks in management consulting, but somehow convinced our employer we could juggle our startup alongside a slew of strategy consulting cases. It wasn’t sustainable. So, we took a sabbatical to turn our side project into a full-time job.
Last week, Shearwater took to the road to visit Indiana University, Bloomington, a trip that is always uniquely special. In addition to being the home of four Mentor Collective programs, it is also the alma mater of its co-founder Jackson Boyar. It was made all the more special by a testimonial from a mentee shared during the “Lunch and Learn” co-hosted by Shearwater's Mentor Collective and the school. Despite having a good experience at IU, Erin Powell was struggling to translate those experiences and her qualifications into meaningful job prospects. “Left and right, I was getting denied from employers… even the ones I thought I could fall back on,” she shared via a prepared statement read by Michelle Bartley-Taylor. “I didn’t look good on paper and I sure wasn’t prepared to enter an interview.” As Powell sees it, “This is when Mentor Collective came in handy.”