NextGen: Providing mentors to future business leaders, editorial by Preston Davenport

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The feeling of an epiphany is described as an experience of sudden and striking realization. Senior year of college can create a vaguely similar experience when the classes stop, and the search for a career begins. There are many opportunities, but every choice offers a substantially different path as to what should be done with our lives. It can get overwhelming to the point that we do nothing out of sheer paralysis by analysis.

The situation and feeling is a common occurrence, and tiers of generations have gone through the same thing. Life changing decisions take time and thought. Instead of choosing a career path on a whim, consultation with a mentor is a better way to go.

nextgenlogoNextGen is an organization in the area associated with the Billings Chamber of Commerce that creates networking opportunities for young professionals. According to their website, NextGen aims “to establish a place for Millenials looking to further their professional career.” The program is open to people ages 21-39.

Rocky alumni Marcell Bruski is a manager in the program and takes care of the logistics behind the scenes, such as managing the Facebook page and the website. “(NextGen) is meant to get young professionals involved with the community, involved with each other, and civic engagement. Those are the three main things the program aims to do.”

The action teams in NextGen are labeled: Learn, Grow, Connect, and Inspire. Inspire is the mentorship program geared towards college students. For students at Rocky Mountain College that are uncertain about future plans, the mentorship program will match students with a NextGen member who shares similar interests and passions. When students are matched with a member, they meet with the member roughly once a month for 30 minutes to one hour to seek advice, resources, and connections in the community. The professional relationship is a means to get insight into career options, and students in the program can get advice for their career path or educational situations they might be in.

It is a good idea for students to seek a mentor for various reasons and for different fields of study. Mentors in NextGen also assist in updating resumes, and the steps towards getting a job out of college.

“It is a good support system to have out of college,” said Bruski. “It is scary to graduate M.-Bruskiand be left wondering what you are going to do. And I think it is great for people to get involved right now as they get ready to graduate, if they are looking for internships, or if they are looking to connect with someone. A lot of our members have connections throughout the community. Whether they are in banking, marketing, communications, law firms, healthcare, agriculture, academics, any industry in Billings has somebody that represents this company [NextGen].”

Graduating college may seem terrifying, but fear of the unknown is an irrational fear. Stepping into an unfamiliar environment is merely a stressor that stimulates growth in the individual. And it does not have to be an aimless walk in the dark. Mentors of Billings NextGen can offer the guidance and assurance needed to head in the right direction.

Students can gain more insight and register into the program by going to www.billingsnextgen.com.

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