Five Reasons Why Professionals Should Provide Informational Interviews for Youth

If you could change the life of a youth in as little as 30-60 minutes, would you?

For Ram Sundar, the answer is yes. A man of many talents: a Professional Engineer, a published author, business owner, and a body language coach, Sundar was driven to give youth an opportunity he wished were available to his younger self.

Be The Mentor You Needed

“I, unfortunately, did not have a mentor and was not exposed to informational interviews. I found myself, a graduate from a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, facing difficulty finding work. In addition to facing a recession while living in Detroit, Michigan, I lacked guidance. With mounting loans and no prospects, I was required to return to India to start again. There, I decided to be my own mentor and made a list of everything that I needed to work on and improve myself professionally and personally. I now have the chance to give youth guidance at the time in their lives they need it to better prepare for their future.

Share What You’ve Learned Along the Way

There is a big disconnect between academia and industry. I learned that universities or colleges are not intended to teach you everything you need to know about industry. Rather, they lay a foundation to open one’s mind to lifelong learning. A program, like Reboot Plus, helps bridge the gap between academia and the corporate world. It provides youth a chance to know themselves more deeply, while helping them polish their work-related skills. It also provides them connections through the networking opportunities provided.

Help Students See the Bigger Picture

I like to work with the end goal in mind. Doing so allows me to examine the steps that are required to attain this goal and to examine related facets along the way. When I’m faced with difficulties or interruptions along the way, I can fall back on the structure that I’ve set out for myself, while appreciating the journey towards my intention.

As students of the Reboot Plus program are exploring their interests and abilities, I encourage them to look at the big picture. High school is a step towards a bigger goal; a platform that can help a student step into post-secondary education or life outside of high school. Finding what motivates students helps them set goals and see beyond their current environment.

Be Inspired by Youth

Reboot Plus program has been enriching and inspirational to me, and I am always excited to speak to the students. I certainly recommend other professionals contribute to the success of this program. The students I have met ask very intelligent and insightful questions. They are not afraid to talk about pressing issues in the corporate culture and challenge the way in which I see the world.

Share Your Journey

I have been fortunate in my career journey. I have lived in 5 countries – the US, Netherlands, India, Singapore, and, finally, Canada. I have worked in the Space Program, the high-tech industry, robotics, semiconductor industry, automation, and more. I have a black belt in Six Sigma and LEAN Six Sigma. I am also a business growth specialist, helping business owners improve their revenues. I chair a mastermind group of business owners in Toronto, called Business Round Table. I have enjoyed this meandering journey and continue to set goals as I grow professionally.”

The Reboot Plus program is designed for youth 17 to 24 who have not finished or are not on track to graduate high school. This first-of-its-kind program in Canada helps youth re-engage in both education and career development. The program connects student participants with business professionals to have an informational interview where they can ask questions and explore what different businesses and careers are really like.