Leaders of Tomorrow Initiative calls fellowship again into mentorship


LTI Members pose for a gaggle picture following a pinning ceremony on January 21, 2024. Picture credit score: Sydney Billings

Andrés Concha entered the College of Miami with one objective: to influence the college in a optimistic manner, foster neighborhood and finally lead his friends into success. By creating the Leaders of Tomorrow Initiative, he did simply that.

LTI is a bi-modal management coaching program that connects excellent upperclassmen with promising first and second-year college students.

For Concha, a senior majoring in psychology, LTI began as a ardour undertaking, imagined from a way of accountability to create an area for like-minded leaders and entrepreneurs.

In August of 2023, this system took its first steps.

“I started assembly with a number of directors, together with Dr. Heather Stevens, assistant to the SVP for scholar affairs; our scholar physique president; and consultants each inside and outdoors the College,” Concha mentioned.

Spearheading your complete course of himself, Concha compiled an exhaustive record of potential candidates who could be the proper match for this system.

“I cold-emailed a whole lot of various college students. From then on, I despatched out an software to those that handed the primary interview, and in the event that they obtained previous the second software, they have been interviewed one closing time,” Concha mentioned.

To make sure a good interviewing and software course of, Concha needed to search help from colleagues and consultants that have been expert in figuring out certified candidates in a sea of candidates.

“I additionally had a board of exterior consultants exterior of the College of Miami that every member consented to, to miss my purposes and ensure I didn’t have any bias,” Concha mentioned. “I consider in strict meritocracy, and I don’t consider that my private biases ought to get in the way in which of anybody’s acceptance.”

After spending roughly 30 hours assembly with consultants, sending and replying to a whole lot of emails and studying over 100 purposes, Concha ultimately narrowed his record right down to 12 members, excluding himself.

The ensuing cohort was made up of 5 juniors and seniors paired with eight freshmen and sophomores, with Concha as an extra mentor and advisor.

Following the primary discussion board with mentors and mentees in the identical room, Concha might already see the product of a number of months of arduous work and persistence.

“I used to be a bit nervous going into it, and I left with the most important smile on my face,” Concha mentioned. “The synergy and the synthesis within the room was unbelievable. Inside one assembly, we had already established a number of working relationships, a collaborative undertaking on AI, consulting on enterprise and a number of other conferences.”

Along with boards the place members of their respective cohorts meet collectively, the main draw of this system comes from the mentorship facet.

“The mentorship element of LTI is the place junior and senior mentors are basically matched with a freshman or sophomore mentee, the place they’re supplied with direct mentorship on a bi-weekly or weekly foundation,” Concha mentioned.

For Claire Kim, a senior majoring in finance and advertising, the mentorship program gave her the chance to take a step out of her discipline.

“A facet that I discovered actually attention-grabbing was that it spanned throughout your complete College and wasn’t simply business-school particular,” Kim mentioned.

As a senior mentor for LTI, Kim has discovered this pilot program to be nothing however transformative.

“The most effective half is getting to satisfy with them usually sufficient that you just get to see that progress–attending to see over somebody and assist them set their targets has been actually superb,” Kim mentioned.

Throughout mentorship classes, mentees learn to market themselves, follow mock interview calls, and excellent their networking methods. And whereas some mentor-mentee relationships spanned throughout majors and professions, there was unbelievable worth in these numerous connections

As a psychology and enterprise main, Concha was matched with two mentees within the fields of neuroscience and laptop science–however this matchup solely enhanced the mentorship course of.

“I don’t have the information to boost their expertise throughout the world of laptop science, however what I do have is information in areas the place those that examine these issues want enchancment,” Concha mentioned. “I can educate lots about negotiation, persuasion and public talking, which permits them to develop into a extra well-rounded chief and set up connections that they in any other case may not have been capable of forge.”

Considered one of Concha’s mentees, Ethan Tieu, has made important strides within the few months he’s been part of LTI. Whereas Tieu was already excelling earlier than LTI, he has discovered this system has allowed him to attach with folks throughout disciplines.

“Andrés makes it some extent to not solely tight bonds along with your mentors, however with different mentees. Each different week we meet with our mentors, after which he additionally assigns conferences with different mentees that he thinks we might study lots from,” Tieu mentioned, who was capable of meet with fellow mentees in entrepreneurship to boost his enterprise expertise.

For Matteo Constantine, a senior majoring in enterprise expertise with a minor in well being administration, LTI has allowed him to information youthful college students and assist them to develop into their full potential.

“LTI has helped me fulfill a objective of desirous to be a mentor to a youthful scholar earlier than I graduate. I feel having somebody who can simply information you within the steps to get extra concerned on campus may be actually helpful,” Constantine mentioned.

Greater than that, Constantine has cast worthwhile connections together with his mentees, similar to Alexandre Kim.

“I get to know these mentees on a private stage. I get to learn about their life, the place they arrive from, what they do, and their persona traits. I’ve related very well with Alex as a result of I can see in him loads of elements of my youthful self, together with a number of the struggles I went by way of early in faculty,” Constantine mentioned.

Given the tight-knit neighborhood LTI offers, there’s little question that this group will, and already has, supplied college students with a neighborhood of like-minded those that they will belief and speak in confidence to.

“The explanation that LTI was created was to attach folks academically, socially, and professionally. However actually what it was meant to do was give the folks that basically dedicate themselves to impacting the folks round them, a buddy or a gaggle of those that they may perceive,” Concha mentioned. “In any a part of the world, it’s very tough to search out individuals who put the vast majority of their time and power into making themselves higher to allow them to make the world round them higher.”

Whereas a number of mentorship applications can be found throughout the College of Miami, Concha believes that LTI brings the extra interpersonal elements of a mentor-mentee relationship again into the dialog.

“Although our college does present loads of sturdy mentorship applications and management applications, LTI is the primary to bond its members, not simply in skilled issues, however on a deeper stage. I wish to consider us extra as a household and a buddy group than a management program,” Concha mentioned.

“I’d encourage leaders throughout the College of Miami, along with leaders throughout all faculty campuses, to advertise honesty, vulnerability and readability inside their groups to foster a stronger, extra environment friendly bond.”

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