Houston Christian University (HCU) is among the first of five area universities offering mentorship opportunities to students through PartnerUp Houston, a regional initiative launched by Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) in collaboration with Mentor Collective, a national mentorship organization.
Launched on Jan. 10, PartnerUp Houston is described as a first-of-its-kind regional mentorship program that pairs students one-on-one with industry professionals from 10 of GHP’s member companies who have signed on to help students achieve their career aspirations.
“Our mission at HCU is to instill in our students a passion for academic, spiritual, and professional excellence, and our conviction is that interpersonal relationships and mentoring are indispensable to that kind of holistic formation. GHP’s PartnerUp Houston will be a vital collaboration for us in forging more of these transformational connections for our students and in helping HCU fulfill our commitment to embrace Houston’s marketplaces that stands at the center of our new University strategic plan,” said HCU President Robert Sloan.
Participating mentors will complete a certified, on-demand training curriculum to equip them to listen, inspire and help students explore career pathways, recognize career opportunities and build relationships with a network of professionals.
“We are excited for this opportunity for our students at Houston Christian University, where they can meet with expert leaders and professionals and can demystify their career paths as well as provide awareness of all of the big industries in our city,” said Brenda Rios Brombacher, Director of HCU’s McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise.
Companies, including Calpine, Boston Consulting Group, and HP, and more, have signed on to provide professional mentors to the PartnerUp Houston program. Mentors will meet with individual students a minimum of six times (virtually or in person) over the course of 12 weeks to help define their career aspirations, determine the roles and industries that best fit their career interests and enhance their job interviewing and networking skills.
GHP Chair Thad Hill believes that PartnerUp Houston “will help accelerate career outcomes for students and help Houston area employers identify and cultivate great talent.”
The aim is to proactively address the equity and skills gaps in the region, increase the workforce readiness of Houston’s college graduates, and strengthen the talent pipeline of the local economy.
“Institutions enrolling and graduating a diverse class with strong employment outcomes are those implementing holistic student support, including career mentorship,” said Jackson Boyar, co-founder and CEO of Mentor Collective, in a press release announcing the launch.
Other area universities participating in the mentoring initiative include Rice University, Sam Houston State University, the University of Houston and the University of St. Thomas.