How A Mentor Can Empower You In Today’s (Highly) Competitive Marketplace

The easy solution to stagnation and the optimal answer to personal development.

During the past couple decades, competition has been increasing, a lot. Not just in the business sector, but also among students. There are more businesses competing for the same market share and there are a lot more talented students applying for the same university programs. This rise in competition has caused a drop in mentorship programs within big firms. Do you want to collaborate with the people you are competing against? Many do not — which has been detrimental to companies and society as a whole.

Why is this bad?

There is more and more research to suggest that mentorship is a powerful tool that businesses can use to augment the performance of their employees and reduce attrition rates. This research is disrupting the status quo when it comes to mentorship, and has inspired a recent trend of big firms adopting mentorship programs. Examples include: McKinsey & Company, GE, Google, Intel, among many others.

Simply put, mentorship rates were high in the seventies, dropped between the nineties and 2000s; and now, with all the new research, we are seeing a new found interest in mentorship programs.

According to Harvard Business Review, Competitive advantage depends less on the scale and scope of your services (given that your rivals are all large and diversified as well) than on the abilities and networks of your firm’s professionals. Without mentorship programs businesses lack the real partnerships between the managers and their subordinates needed to run a competitive firm.

The three main benefits of mentorship: Advice, Inspiration, and Growing Your Network.

  1. Advice — Having a mentor offers another perspective on problems or projects that you are working on, which you may not have thought of.
  2. Inspiration — Mentors help encourage you to pursue a goal, and help you get through the dips of working towards something.
  3. It’s a two-way street — for any transaction to occur both parties need to be satisfied, and so with that being said, the mentor also has benefits.

If this has already convinced you, scroll to the bottom to find out how you can be part of a mentorship program.

My Experience

The benefits outlined above are in line with my own experience when it came to mentorship. This summer I met Jake Jardine, the President of DECA U Ontario, and he has acted as a mentor for me.

Most of our meetings were over a coffee and consisted of casual conversation. This has caused me to be a proponent of the philosophy of coffee conversations, which is essentially the practice of meeting up over a coffee and having a one-on-one conversation about what’s important to both individuals.

Through these coffee conversations Jake has offered advice on various problems and projects that I have pursued within DECA Ontario. Additionally, Jake shared the struggles and success that he had both in his personal and professional life; by listening to the stories it helped further inspire me to do more. To try harder.

However, one the biggests benefits that I reaped was the ability to feel energized after a conversation with Jake. And no it wasn’t just the caffeine. There are times when we are all going through turmoil and need a little supportive push to help us rekindle the lost motivation we once had, and I found that after our the conversations, that motivation was rekindled.

Finally, if the person being mentored was the only one who was benefited, then the transaction would not occur. Both parties need to be satisfied. This being said, there a few main benefits that the mentor receives.

  1. Opportunity to giveback.
  2. Create lasting connections.
  3. See someone go through what they went through, which can be introspective.

Yet, in addition to these benefits, the mentor has another person to bounce ideas off of, and blow off steam.

This combination of both the mentor and the mentee benefiting from this relationship, I strongly believe that by becoming apart of a mentorship program, many high school students will benefit.


After talking with Jake, he told me about his startup Rockstar Cafe. He shared Rockstar’s mandate and why he believes in it. What resonated with me was the fact that Rockstar provides a platform to make connections between like-minded individuals who have some form of passion and want to form lasting connections. This is the exact philosophy of coffee conversations that I have experienced.

If you are interested in having a mentor then register with Rockstar cafe.

Note: I’ve never had a coffee conversation through the platform. However, I am a strong believer in the power of mentorship and Rockstar Cafe is a medium for that.

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