iMentor Chicago Hosts Speed Networking Event with Chicago’s Top Industries

On Thursday, February 15 iMentor Chicago hosted a speed networking event for its high school juniors and seniors at each of its five Chicago Public High School partner campuses. Joined by their mentors, the students practiced informational interview questions with career representatives from various companies. iMentor Chicago serves schools on the South and West sides of Chicago and incorporates building social capital – a network of relationships – into its programs as one component to achieving upward mobility.

Guests from companies such as Northwestern Medicine, the City of Chicago, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Motorola Solutions, and Northern Trust engaged with students and their mentors to help the students refine their networking skills – a critical skill for future success in all post-secondary career paths.

“For first-generation college-going students, professional networks and career-connected learning experiences that specifically increase their knowledge of and access to meaningful higher education and career pathways can be limited,” says Nina Nicole Longino, Executive Director of iMentor Chicago. “Events like these allow our high school students to start early in creating and expanding their own professional networks that they can leverage for future opportunities.”

The speed networking event is the latest of iMentor Chicago’s initiatives to provide career-connected learning opportunities, where students receive firsthand exposure to a variety of industries. In doing so, they work closely with their mentors to identify potential paths to take after high school, such as the college to attend or major to pursue, in order to achieve their goals.

By partnering with iMentor Chicago, companies also have the opportunity to develop and invest in Chicago’s future talent pool and forge a strong sense of community in the city.

“Northwestern Medicine employees are thrilled to collaborate with iMentor Chicago and have the chance to cultivate Chicago’s future leaders,” says Deborah Avalos, Director at Northwestern Medicine and iMentor Chicago Advisory Board Member. “It is vital to expose first-generation students of color to the career pathways that are available to them to ensure a talented, diverse, and equitable workforce for our city.”

To learn how to become a partner with iMentor Chicago, email Eric Barbour, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, at [email protected].