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Pilot with Hello Mentor launched successfully

As an ambitious, recent graduate, where do you find that nice starter position? How do you write a catchy cover letter and how do you negotiate your salary? The step into the labour market is a big one for students, especially for international graduates. To give them a helping hand, Brainport Development has started the pilot with Hello Mentor. During the project, international students were matched to a mentor from the professional field. The kick-off took place on 8 November. Both mentors and mentees look back on a successful day.

 

As an ambitious, recent graduate, where do you find that nice starter position? How do you write a catchy cover letter and how do you negotiate your salary? The step into the labour market is a big one for students, especially for international graduates. To give them a helping hand, Brainport Development has started the pilot with Hello Mentor. During the project, international students were matched to a mentor from the professional field. The kick-off took place on 8 November. Both mentors and mentees look back on a successful day.

 

After an earlier, digital introduction, the first physical meeting took place on 8 November. The mentors and mentees gathered in front of the Brainport Development office in Eindhoven. After a short word of welcome, the group went for a tour of the ‘Glow’ light festival. 'In this pilot, in addition to serious matters, there is sufficient room for fun’, says Leane van Veghel on behalf of Brainport Development. 'We want to teach international students about the Dutch labour market in an accessible way and also introduce them to the Brainport region.'

 

Gilberto de Freitas

One of the students who has been matched with a mentor is Gilberto de Freitas. The 25-year-old student from Portugal is studying Industrial Engineering & Maintenance at Avans University of Applied Sciences in Breda. For him, the mentoring program is the ultimate way to gain insight into the labour market. 'The program not only allows me to work on my career but also my networking skills. So far, I find it quite difficult to integrate into Dutch culture because I do not fully understand the language yet. I hope that Hello Mentor will help me prepare me for a future here in the Netherlands.'

João Nadas

Someone who knows how to integrate into another culture is 31-year-old João Nadas from Brazil. The Product Owner at Sendcloud has a PhD in wireless communications and previously lived and worked in Canada and Scotland. An experienced expert and the ideal mentor. 'I know the struggles of starting in another country. A new language, different habits, a lot is coming at you. Then it is difficult to make the right choices. For example, many students think that learning the Dutch language helps to integrate. But on a professional level, it is better to focus on other skills. As a mentor, I can give valuable tips so that students make better choices during their early beginnings here in the Netherlands.' 

Jassibe Gutierrez

Jassibe Gutierrez also knows what it is like to enter the labour market in a completely foreign country. The Mexican-born currently works as a project manager at ASML, but previously studied and worked in the United States, Spain, and France. As a mentor, she hopes to help the international community in Brainport. 'It would have been very nice if someone from the profession had shown me the way on the Dutch labour market at the time. I would also like to make my mentee aware of the fact that it is a privilege to work in one of the most innovative and smart regions of the world. There are plenty of opportunities here, but you have to go out, connect and adapt yourself.'

Hello Mentor

The pilot with Hello Mentor consists of a four-month program. The mentor and mentee do have a contact moment every three weeks. In addition, there are several community events on the program. These are organized in collaboration with the Amsterdam start-up Hello Mentor, which is settling in Eindhoven especially for this pilot. 'We have been running a similar program in Amsterdam for almost three years. And that is very successful,' says Eline Stapel, People Manager at Hello Mentor. 'Our goal is to reduce the gap between education and the labour market. Especially for internationals, the step from student to young professional is very big. By bringing them into contact with experienced mentors who, like themselves, have an international background and speak the same professional jargon, you can ensure a softer landing.' Co-founder Quincy Dalh adds: 'Next to that, we aim to create a community of students and professionals who know how to find each other. We will be working very hard on that in the coming year.'