National Mentoring Month
In his 3+ years as a BTE career coach, IT Manager Jose Hernandez has served as a mentor, planned events, and has been featured as a speaker. He enjoys the range of BTE program activities from cultural events to Johnson & Johnson site visits. Being a mentor has allowed him to better understand the challenges facing the current generation of students, and how to motivate them to explore careers and assist with college applications. In turn, this personally helped him better support his two, high school-age daughters. Professionally, volunteering for BTE has enabled Jose to meet new J&J colleagues and reconnect with old J&J friends. He explained the positive effect this had for him: “Connecting with colleagues is really important to build your network. I’ve been able to use these connections in my career and learn about what the different sectors are doing. BTE is great for rebuilding connections.”
“It’s about relationships and listening. Try it, and you’ll see the benefit and impact you’ve given the student.”
Jose describes BTE as, “the best way to give back,” not only because of the program’s alignment with the J&J Credo but because BTE makes a lasting impact on the community, young people and their futures. “It’s not a one-time activity…this is a three-year full engagement with individuals from the local community who need the mentorship and coaching that the volunteers bring.”
Jose’s advice for someone considering becoming a BTE volunteer is, “Just do it.” He explains that BTE students appreciate and benefit from even small actions—what is most important is that there is an adult who cares and who is thinking about their future. He emphasizes, “It’s about relationships and listening. Try it, and you’ll see the benefit and impact you’ve given the student.”
Jose is part of a team currently planning a new BTE program in Ewing, NJ.