AVID Student Mentoring
Currently half of employers don’t believe that students are prepared for work, yet two-thirds of employers have little to no interactions with schools. Mountain View Chamber of Commerce wants to help change that. To help narrow the divide between our local classrooms and our workforce, the Chamber has created a program that allows students to voluntarily come to "work" during their winter & spring breaks to gain experience in a professional work environment. Over 130 AVID high school students have participated in the week long internship over the last 3 years.
THE objectives of the program are to help students:
Gain experience in a professional environment
Interact with the Business Community & begin to build their network
Understand how to build their "brand" and tell their story
Students from both Los Altos and Mountain View High Schools report to 'work' each day dressed for a professional environment, they receive lanyards that identify their employment at the Chamber, they meet their work team, are provided a project framework and are expected to produce a tangible outcome by week's end. Outcomes have included curating the content of the annual chamber business guide, creating the marketing materials for our annual Technology Showcase and .... Students are educated about the Chamber, they participate in working lunches, visit local businesses to introduce themselves and their efforts on behalf of the Chamber. They create LinkedIn pages, have professional headshots taken and document their experiences on their student resume. Between corporate visits and project meetings, they hear from a diverse group of professionals to help expose them to the many different ways their unique passions and talents can lead to meaningful careers. They participate in half-day long externships at local companies such as Quora, Study.com & Pure Storage which includes executive roundtables and one-on-one mentoring. Students are encouraged to connect with the professionals they meet and often have over 20 new LinkedIn connections by the end of the week.
At the end of each session, students feel much more comfortable networking and more connected to the business community. They have a better sense of how to tell their story and build their individual "brand".