“He is a person at our disposal, who wants to help us”: how tutoring at the university changes the situation

“It’s like a little hood!” A person at our disposal, who wants to help us.” When she talks about her mentor, 23-year-old Lina’s voice is full of enthusiasm. The young woman, currently studying the second year of a master’s degree in International Marketing at the IAE in Annecy, is one of the beneficiaries of the mentoring program offered by the Business Club of the University of Savoy Mont Blanc. For a year, a professional builds a special bond with a student, to support him or her in her training or professional project.

Lina’s mentor is called Anne-Marie. The 28-year-old international buyer from Geneva is a former IAE student. “It reassures me that the students of my training provide concrete testimony of what their master’s degree has given them! », Lina emphasizes. The couple has been speaking regularly since October. Her mentor was especially supportive of her internship search. “She helped me perfect my project and gave me advice on approaching companies. She motivated me a lot, she told me not to give up, even if she received standard rejection emails,” the student recalls.

It was Alain Hivet, director of concessions at Jean Lain Mobilités and vice president of the Business Club, who proposed this mentoring 4 years ago. Initially to support dropouts, in the 1st or 2nd year of university. “The idea was to incorporate them into the professional world or return them to the university. But I realized that many young people admitted to studying but did not know what profession. It’s a bit like I get in the car, I start, I drive, but I don’t know where I’m going! »

“I love the idea of ​​someone doing this to transmit, to help”

Alain Hivet was one of the first mentors. “The student I supported needed reassurance about going into business. Many students, like him, have doubts about the evolution of professions in 4 or 5 years…” And there, exchanges with professionals allow us to plan better. With a dedicated contact person, more accessible than teachers and, above all, involved day to day in the world of work.

“I love the idea of ​​someone doing this of their own free will, to pass it on, to help. That seems very nice of them,” says Lina enthusiastically. Especially because in her environment the young woman did not necessarily have a person who could advise her on her direction. “Currently I am the only one in my family who has studied for so long. It’s a bit like my secret garden, I don’t talk about it. They encourage me but don’t understand exactly what I’m doing! », confides the young woman.

Lina and her mentor communicated regularly, whether by video conference or email. “She was always very attentive, taking time out of her work day to advise me.” Since Lina started her internship, she has less contact with her mentor because she has less time. But despite everything, the bond remains. “She is already part of my network, I have her in my LinkedIn contacts, on WhatsApp. We can support each other; Who knows, someday maybe I can help you too. »

In this third year of the program’s existence, around 120 couples were created. At all levels of study for trainees: those at the beginning of their career who need reassurance about their orientation or support in a reorientation, those at the end of training who want to open their networks and receive support in their job search or those who They want support in creating a business.

At 18, Kévin, a first-year environmental management student at Annecy, chose to follow the mentoring program to “gain a professional network and also discover companies and sectors of activity that may interest me.” His mentor, the operations director of a local industrial company, was able to show him his structure but also put him in touch with employees. “Next Friday I’m going to talk to one of them, who specializes in finance,” explains the young man. To perfect his orientation project.

The university to develop your employer brand

From a business point of view, exchanges are also beneficial. “It is clear that the university is increasingly seen as a resource center for companies, which also allows them to recruit young people for internships, work-study programs or young graduates. It is also a way for companies to make themselves known and develop their employer brand,” says Nicolas Borghese, director of the Business Club of the Savoie Mont Blanc University.

“This also allows us to know this generation better,” adds Alain Hivet. It’s essential. With this tendency to plan several professions throughout your career, the CDD/CDI distinction having less importance, the absence of desire to become an owner, etc. “. A positive result for everyone. “In general, the mentors are very happy with the relationship that is created with the young person,” says Nicolas Borghese. They speak of a breath of oxygen, of freshness, of invigoration. »

Work in total trust between the university and socioeconomic actors.

On the part of the two Savoys, links between socio-economic actors and the university have been developing for many years. The Business Club was created in 1991. As an association, it brings together 80 local companies. And multiply actions to establish contacts between students and local structures.

“Universities have done very important work to strengthen this link with the socioeconomic world,” underlines David Melo, vice president of the Savoie Mont Blanc University in charge of guidance, relations with secondary schools, professional integration and communication. And the Savoie Mont Blanc University in particular, which inspires other establishments who come to observe its systems.

“The impressive thing is that we work with total trust between the services of the University, the Business Club and the entire socioeconomic fabric,” emphasizes David Melo. And it unfolds into a lasting relationship, even at the level of training design. “It is we, as academics, who define the educational framework and the requirements associated with training, but they are designed in accordance with the realities of the labor market.”

“For a student to be successful, they first need quality training. It must also allow for support that is as individualized as possible and be connected to the realities of the socioeconomic world,” concludes David Melo.

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