Do We Still Need Mentorship To Thrive?

In the age of Internet parasocial relationships, is it still worth it to have a mentor?

Growing up in high school, one of the main goals your teachers tell you to reach is achieving a mentorship from someone in your dream field. Once you get out of that high school bubble, the typical place you would seek mentorship is in college.

For many older Gen Z’ers who geared up for college, many of us watched countless YouTube videos figuring out the Do’s and Don’ts when entering school. The major Do of many of those videos was creating a relationship with your professor and securing mentorship from them.

Unfortunately, things have changed over the past few years due to the 2020 pandemic. It became harder to create in-person relationships when the only form of communication was Zoom meetings and social media comments.

Finding mentorship before versus now in a digital era has shifted many perspectives regarding how we perceive what other professionals can do to help us. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025, 27% of the workforce will be Gen Z. Here’s how we can better prepare Gen Z with the new perception of mentorship.

Read ‘Black Female Executives Recommend How To Ask For Mentorship’

What Does The New Era Of Mentorship Look Like?

We’re slowly making our way toward a new normal regarding how we communicate and interact with each other during the pandemic. With everything moving quickly, we’re no longer searching for the perfect place to have a coffee session, but now we’re looking for other outlets.

“The emergence of mobile devices and social networks over the last decade has certainly changed how Americans live and communicate daily,” said Lynn Bufka, Ph.D., APA’s associate executive director for practice research and policy.

Whether we like it or not, if you seek mentorship, you must find different avenues to reach that goal. We often look to mentors with decades of experience. Still, for Gen Z, speaking with someone relatively new in the field is even more motivating because it gives them more reliability.

According to a yearly global survey, more than half (58%) of people born in 1996-2015 said they can’t be without internet access for more than four hours before becoming uncomfortable, making them highly dependent on their digital connections.


mentorship communities are so important and why i really hate the old kind of performative mentorship #rant #bipoc #mentorship #beaboutit

♬ original sound – Manali

How Can You Achieve Mentorship Digitally?

Many college students and early graduates use this time to experiment with the intersectionality between social media and career professionals. In the words of Issa Rae, the biggest lesson about networking and mentorship is to mentor across instead of starting at the top.

Gen Z’ers are the new vocal generation, so they must continue to utilize and create relationships that don’t seem forced or inorganic. Countless programs like Femme It Forward make space for young minds eager to get their foot in the door.

There is a 50% higher retention rate among those in a mentoring program. 93% of mentees said their mentoring relationships were helpful to them.


We’d like to welcome the class of 2023-2024 to our #NextGemFemme Mentorship Program 🤩 @drew is one of our gems! Thank you for sharing 🩷🩷🩷

♬ original sound – FEMME IT FORWARD

What Are The Key Takeaways For Mentorship?

Before the overconsumption of the Internet, it seemed as though in-person mentorship was the end of getting closer to your dream job, but things have changed. Though having a mentor is a significant perk in your roster of industry professionals, now it’s used more as an additional resource.

Students as early as college freshmen are creating mentoring programs to help each other rather than waiting for their professors to point them in the right direction.

“The good news is that concept-generation, creativity, programming, publishing or musical performance is no longer in the hands of indifferent gatekeepers – the greybeard editors of various industries who decided which voice and talent was worthy,” according to Barry Chudakov, founder and principal of Sertain Research and Streamfuzion Corporation.

About Kenyatta: Clark Atlanta University and Medill School alumna Kenyatta Victoria is the Girls United writer covering everything from news, pop culture, lifestyle, and investigative stories. When not reporting, she’s diving deep into her curated playlists or binging her favorite comfort shows.

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