Alumni Mentors: Look Back, Move Forward

Student Tshepo Moloko smiles in a well-lit room

Since inception, the Dell Young Leaders programme has evolved to incorporate more of the support, tools and resources our students tell us they need to succeed. This approach led us to the launch of the Alumni Mentorship Programme.

Each year, as a new class is added to the Dell Young Leaders programme, they are paired with an Alumni Mentor – someone fully familiar with the challenges of university, who can provide first-hand advice on how best to use the resources available to them.  

This provides our current students with an ongoing support system to help navigate university life, incorporating the best real-world guidance for our students as they move toward graduation and the world of work. This is also beneficial for our Dell Young Leaders Alumni, as it provides an opportunity for them to reflect on their university experiences and the resilience they showed, as well as build skills in working with others that they can put to use in their careers.

Learn more about this impactful part of the programme from a real-life mentee and mentor.

Nomfundo Zulu, Dell Young Leaders Mentee

I’ve benefited so much from the Alumni Mentorship Programme. I signed up because I wanted support from someone who could guide me in the decisions I had to make at university. It’s always helped me to hear from someone who’s been where I am now, someone who motivates me, someone to talk to about academics and life beyond university. My mentor and I have known each other a few months, but it feels like years and that has made it easy to communicate.

My mentor says that he doesn’t just want to provide information, but to provide correct, relevant and effective information for my success. And this is exactly what I receive from my mentor. Through my mentor, I know that I will make healthy and mindful decisions for each step of my university journey and the future. He has given me a view of the real world and the corporate world, and it has made me so much more aware.

Most importantly, my mentor has made me believe in myself because I now know it is possible to be successful. He has shown me that we shouldn’t let the past define us or where we are going, but use it as a stepping stone to set me apart from everyone else. His ambition is a reflection of me – I just needed someone to remind me of that. That’s really motivated me!

Tshepo Moloko, Dell Young Leaders Mentor

My time is the best thing I have to offer, and it is something I believe can have a huge impact on my mentees. I wanted to use my previous experience as a student and the lessons I learnt to ensure my mentees get the relevant support they need to successfully navigate the complex university environment. My programme highlight to-date is the continued relationships I have with my mentees.

Being a mentor acts as a foundation for developing exceptional soft skills such as patience, empathy, endurance, dedication, and people skills.  These are things that university cannot teach. You learn it by having relationships with different people and learning from them as much as they learn from you. This has helped differentiate me from my peers before my employers’ eyes, the fact that I have well-rounded skills.

The Dell Young Leaders mentorship programme lives up to the Dell Young Leaders name. It’s about developing young future leaders who will make an impact in their communities. By having the mentorship programme in place, we ensure that young people continue to be ambassadors for the change they want to see in the world. Young people will recognise the power they hold and use that as a tool to make a difference in other people’s lives. That is a feeling much more fulfilling than any material gain.