You are here"The Internet's not written in pencil, Mark, it's written in ink."
"The Internet's not written in pencil, Mark, it's written in ink."
A vice-president of human resources I know told me she wouldn't hire her own son because of what was on his Facebook page. Some recent surveys and studies - one most notably from the Pew Internet Life project here - show that students suffer more than ever from anxiety about how their online identities will affect their futures. The movie Social Network got this part right: The Internet's written in ink, not pencil.
That's why when I look back on MentorNet's many changes and achievements this year (this is a local event: our fiscal year happens to end June 30th), the most exciting thing I see is the individual profile page we now give to each of our proteges that guides them to create their identities as future professionals, something they can work on and refine with their mentors. When they are ready, this profile can now be part of their application to jobs and internships with our corporate sponsors, so proteges can translate their reputations and hard work into tangible value.
This is just the beginning. In the year to come, supported by grants from the Carnegie Corporation, SD Bechtel Jr Foundation and Alfred P Sloan Foundation, we are committed to putting this toolkit into the hands of many more students at many more universities. MentorNet was originally conceived as a social network for mentoring, so it is only fitting that we return to our core identity and find ways to leverage social networking to move from an average of 3000 matches to many multiples of that. After all, by my calculations, there are somewhat upwards of 2 million women and underrepresented STEM students and postdocs on US campuses alone.
To get there, we will need to unleash the voices and testimonies of all 30,000 of you who receive this newsletter: not just our supporters in universities, colleges, corporations, foundations and professional societies, but our proteges themselves. In the months to come, I look forward to bringing you into this mission directly. In the meantime, if you have ideas or wish to volunteer to help, please let me know directly at email@example.com.