PAY IT FORWARD: The Education Finance & Income Share Agreement (ISA) Blog

 

Takeaways from a Summer of Successfully Working Together, While Distanced

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As Fall 2020 officially begins, the MentorWorks team continues to make significant strides – building on the momentum we gained over the Summer – toward achieving our mission: making education more affordable to both students and professionals from all backgrounds and skill levels.

In early August, we decided it was a good time to safely meet up in person – after months apart – to feel the magic that comes only when you’re part of something bigger than yourself, and working towards a mission that helps so many others!

Though the sun was bright and hot, we spared no time getting down to business amidst the festivities. Founders Karthik Krishnan and Mark Bernfeld gave statements on the real difference MentorWorks is making in students lives and laid out some of our long-term plans – many of them now well underway. Everyone was encouraged to speak about their current initiatives and future objectives, including exciting plans from our 2 newest hires:  Senior Director of Marketing, Brad Edmond, and Talent Accelerator Platform (TAP) Manager, Katy Grebing.

We also shared a common realization: that our thriving during the pandemic was largely the result of the extra emphasis we placed on – and the extra time we invested in – getting to know each other better and actively building working relationships. Like every other tech-driven organization, we all became pros of remote, online collaboration – deftly hopping from Zoom to Slack to Google to FaceTime and, of course, the phone. So, for 6 months now, we’ve held weekly happy hours that started as a modicum of much-needed socialization but have become full of funny stories and instrumental in team-building. To put it plainly, work is just easier when you get to know and actually like the people with whom you work.

The other takeaway is that we never lost sight of but, rather, strengthened our mission. In fact, we used the ‘downtime’ to identify and pursue ways we could further invest in students – to not only helping them fund and finish their educational programs but also to prepare for finding a job during these difficult times. To that end, we’ve built a comprehensive job strategy and career coaching platform, the Talent Accelerator Platform (TAP), which guides current and future job-seekers through 6 online modules covering: goals, resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, professional branding, job boards and applicant tracking systems as well as interpersonal skills, interviewing, and negotiating offers.

TAP was designed for individuals who are finishing a college, graduate, or professional certificate program and beginning their job search but the exercises, lessons learned, and outcomes are equally applicable to individuals in licensed trades and boot camps, career changers, and experienced workers who are currently unemployed or furloughed. Learn more about the free version of TAP and sign up today!

Meanwhile, goodbye Summer and welcome Fall! It took a lot of organization to safely meet together in an environment where we’re constantly urged to stay apart. But, with the promise of a sunny day, barbecue lunch and free pool noodles on the line, MentorWorks stood (socially distanced) at the ready and it was well worth it. And, while the new normal seems to be here to stay – at least for the foreseeable future – we encourage you to invest time and thought into how you can become closer to your team members while also staying safe. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for more updates.