Pictured is Brianna Goebel, a 3 Cups of Coffee mentee, at her local Saxbys. Saxbys provides free coffee for our mentors and mentees during meetings at their locations. 

Whether you are fresh out of college, looking to change careers, or currently unemployed, it can be very challenging to find a new job these days. With all the competition out there, it can be difficult to rise above the crop and really stand out.

Expanding your professional network can help accelerate your job search and open doors to more (and unexpected) opportunities. Like they say, it’s “who you know.”

How can you do that? The answer is in 3 Cups of Coffee®.

3 Cups of Coffee® is a short-term mentorship program, created by Pennsylvania Women Work and operated in Philadelphia by JEVS Human Services. The program pairs job seeking individuals with volunteer mentors in their desired field of work. The pair meet three times for an hour at a local coffee shop over a six-week period. Together, they create a customized plan that identifies career goals and employment possibilities, while connecting the mentee with others in their field.

The program in Philadelphia is celebrating its one-year anniversary and has matched 62 mentor/mentee pairs since its launch. After meeting one of these pairs, it’s clear that there are perks to being a mentor or a mentee in 3 Cups of Coffee®.

Meet Brianna and Stephanie

Brianna Goebel was in her last semester at the University of Pennsylvania when she stumbled upon a 3 Cups of Coffee® flyer at the Saxbys on campus. It was during finals, and she had already been stressing about securing a job post-graduation.

Goebel knew she wanted a career in health care policy, but after applying to many jobs and not receiving any response from the employers, she wanted to know what she was doing wrong. With a desire to get advice from someone in her field, she decided to give 3 Cups of Coffee® a try.

A couple weeks later, Goebel was matched with Stephanie Ledesma, COO of Aetna Better Health of Pennsylvania. Ledesma was able to offer Goebel a unique insight into the health care field and connect her with people in the industry.  During their first meeting, Ledesma informed Goebel of an internship opportunity with Aetna. Goebel jumped at the opportunity and landed the office assistant position.

For Goebel, the best part of this program was learning about Ledesma’s experiences throughout her career and gaining valuable advice to help her reach her career goals.

“It’s an extra support,” said Goebel. “It was really nice to get that outside perspective.”

For Ledesma, the most rewarding part of being a mentor is knowing that those three hours of her time are helping someone move toward that next step in their career.

“Reflecting back on my career and some of those earlier experiences, I felt it was a good opportunity to pay it forward,” said Ledesma. “When you have had some level of success in your career, you recognize that it didn’t happen without hard work and others helping you. I want to give someone that leg up that others gave me.”

Since Goebel did an exceptional job as an intern, Ledesma informed her immediately when a full-time position was available. Goebel will be starting her full-time job as a project coordinator with Aetna next week.

> Interested in joining 3 Cups of Coffee as a mentor or a mentee? Learn more here.

Posted in Blog Mentoring