RBC and Ten Thousand Coffees Create National Youth Mentoring Program

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RBC and networking specialists Ten Thousand Coffees are teaming up with seven Canadian post-secondary institutions to help current students meet up with mentors to help guide their futures.

The national bank and Ten Thousand Coffees will use the RBC Future Launch program to improve networking opportunities between current students and successful alumni mentors at post-secondary institutions across Canada. The first phase of the project will be rolled out on Sept. 17.

The goal is to help current university students develop strategic, practical and ongoing mentoring support from alumni of the same school they attend in order to improve their career prospects moving forward.

The schools involved include Toronto’s George Brown College (Centre for Business), Montreal’s McGill University (Desautels Faculty of Management), all faculties at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering, the University of Guelph’s College of Business and Economics, all faculties at the University of Lethbridge and three programs at the University of Victoria (Gustavson School of Business, Faculty of Social Sciences and Faculty of Engineering).

RBC is providing the funding, while Ten Thousand Coffees is providing the network expertise and online technology to support the program.

"Research shows that 90 per cent of millennials view a lack of opportunities – like career development and training – as the largest barrier facing their generation," said Mary DePaoli, RBC’s chief marketing officer, in a press release announcing the partnership.

"At RBC, we want to help set up young people for success and through this partnership, thousands of college and university students will be able to connect with alumni across Canada and build their own networks and mentoring opportunities."

The RBC Future Launch program is a 10-year program that sees the financial institution investing $500 million to "help young Canadians prepare for a drastically changing workforce," according to the Future Launch website.

The program was designed to focus on three areas that have been identified by employers and youth as being gaps in the system that sees young people transition into their careers: helping youth get work experience; helping youth grow their network, and helping youth gain new skills.

"Eighty-three per cent of educators feel youth are prepared for work, yet only 34 per cent of employers and 44 per cent of youth agree," said the website, adding later that, "85 per cent of all jobs are filled via networking, yet many young people feel they lack or are unable to develop professional relationships."

Ten Thousand Coffees, according to its website, "connects employees with peers based on their role, career goals and professional interests." The networking specialists also offer professional tips like "10 Ways To Have Better Conversations" and "5 Ways To Overcome Your Fear Of Meeting New People" on its website.
 
Through this partnership students will be matched with alumni and also be provided with practical instructions on how to network effectively as well as valuable resume-building information.

"Together with RBC we’re providing students with the tools they need for the future, because when networking and mentorship is done right, it helps young people be more engaged, productive, innovative and ultimately more successful," said Dave Wilkin, the founder of Ten Thousand Coffees.

"We are thrilled that Ten Thousand Coffees has been selected as the networking platform for RBC Future Launch."

Watch a Ten Thousand Coffees video on the ways mentoring can contribute to one's career path.

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