"Life Coaches" Open New Windows for Youths: The Mentoring Service
"Life Coaches" Open New Windows for Youths: The Mentoring Service
  • 임리영 기자
  • 승인 2005.03.02 00:00
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   "Why didn't I find out about this before?" If you have ever asked yourself that question, you know that people often realize they have made a mistake when it is already too late for them to redeem themselves from past decisions. Unfortunately, as the old saying goes, time and tide wait for no man. Perhaps the most tantalizing regrets one comes across later in life are poor choices in university major or career. ?f only I had someone to give me advice about majors and careers that truly suits me, one would sigh endlessly, displeased with his or her current occupation. A new service, however, has arisen to help one avoid such regrets: the career mentor, or life coach.
   Perhaps these services will be especially welcomed by Korean students, who are usually too busy preparing for college entrance exams to ponder the important issue of what they want to do in the future. Worse, although there are 12,000 kinds of jobs in Korea, parents tend to believe that only few, like doctors, lawyers, dentists, and professors are worthwhile careers that their child should aim for. Thus, the majority of students compete to enter fields that are not even suited to their personal qualities. Wisementor CEO Cho Jin-pyo says this is one of the problems mentoring services address. Currently, Wisementor is the pioneer company of mentoring service in Korea and the majority of the customers are high school and university students. Wisementor introduces students to jobs that are expected to be popular in the future. Wisementor also provides guidelines for parents to help them save money in tuition fees and other payments regarding their child? education. This greatly helps Korean parents who spend overly burdensome amount of capital into education. Another helpful service that Wisementor provides is granting opportunities for students to temporarily work with professionals in certain job fields and experience what it is like to actually work in the profession. "Mentor services direct students to find out what their true interests and passions are," says Cho.
   Mentoring services are booming at a rapid speed with its efficient and beneficial system for students. How are such useful services working at Ewha to help Ewha students? Ewhain.net first launched the online mentoring service in May 2002, when the website gave its debut. To receive mentor services, students can apply to be matched with mentors who are working in the specific area they are interested in. When mentors reply and accept the requests of the students, contact takes place through the Ewhain.net website. Such mentoring service has not been very successful because the level of interaction between students and potential mentors has been insignificant. Therefore, Ewhain.net is creating a new mentoring service system to debut in the middle of March 2005. Park Ji-young, the operator, states that there will be an online club for each mentor. Students who want to get advice from a mentor will have to log on to the club and wait for the master of the club to approve her visit. Students and mentors can mingle outside the cyberspace as well. Unlike in the past, Park hopes the new mentoring service will provide a more tightly knit community for the mentor and students.
   There are currently about 150 mentors available who can counsel Ewha students about their professions, and even about issues related to marriage and mothering. In order to advertise and make Ewha students be aware of the new mentoring service, the Ewha Weekly will interview a mentoring service couple once a week. ?t is crucial for students to take advantage of the mentoring service to the maximum in the future, says Park.

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