Photo credit: ADVISORY

Providing career guidance to graduating students affected by COVID-19

Over 200 industry professionals stepped forward to mentor youths online with Advisory.

Justin Hui

Published: 18 April 2020, 10:28 PM

COVID-19 has brought about many disruptions to life in Singapore. One of the big groups affected are graduating students entering a tough job market.

To help these polytechnic, university and Institutes of Technical Education (ITE) students in the uncertain future, the government announced plans to create about 10,000 jobs over the next year.

There are also ground-up initiatives helping youths to navigate the challenging job market. One of it is Advisory, a portal that provides students with industry information and career guidance.

Youth.SG spoke to the people behind Advisory to find out more about their efforts to help students in this circuit breaker season.

Advisory’s executive and board at their first board meeting in 2019.

“We had initially postponed the Advisory Mentorship Programme due to the outbreak of COVID-19,” said Advisory co-founder and president Mock Yi Jun, 22.

“However, several weeks of conversations with the Ministry of Education and the National Youth Council reinforced our perception of the tremendous anxiety that students were facing in the wake of disruptions to academic terms, graduations, and job prospects.

“We felt that now more than ever, there was a need to provide personalised guidance and support to our students in this time of uncertainty.”

To meet this urgent need, the team scrambled to roll out the Advisory Mentorship Programme: Online, which matches students aged 16 to 25 with industry mentors on a one-to-one basis, based on their career interests.

“In the span of a week, we’ve had more than 200 mentors step forward from a wide range of industries, sectors, and levels of experience – and we’re truly grateful for the support of so many wonderful individuals!” said Yi Jun.

From May to July, mentors will provide career-related guidance to students, check-in on how they’re coping with COVID-19 disruption, and help encourage everyone to abide by the new circuit breaker measures. Registration for this programme is open until Apr 27.

Setting up one-to-one mentoring is not the only new programme Advisory is trying to roll out this period.

With schools having moved to full home-based learning (HBL), they saw an opportunity to supplement what students were learning with opportunities to hear from industry professionals through sessions on Zoom.

These weekly Discovery+ sessions are held every Tuesday at 7:30pm, featuring a new industry each time. Their first session on Apr 14 attracted over 100 participants, and their next session on the topic of venture capital will be held this Tuesday, Apr 21.

It is encouraging to know there are still people working hard to create opportunities for youths to learn and grow, even when stuck at home during this circuit breaker.

Yi Jun said: “Advisory’s mission has always been to empower young Singaporeans from all walks of life to make informed career and further education choices. We want to continue encouraging students to pursue skills-upgrading and make productive use of this time of disruption.”

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