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After graduating from IIT Delhi two years ago, Avijit Sharma, 23, faced a common dilemma: what next. "My friends' formula was to opt for an MBA and then grab a job in a well-paying multinational firm," says Sharma, who settled for a job instead. But he continued looking for a solution to such questions. After brainstorming with friends at his Gurgaon home last November, the mechanical engineering graduate thought of a platform that brought mentors together for dispensing career and educational guidance, available at the click of a mouse.
On May 1 this year, Sharma started an online portal, mentorpolis.com, for fresh graduates and young professionals to help them make informed career decisions. "We always look to our immediate seniors and friends whenever we want to take an important decision that could impact our career. But at times we end up making the wrong choices because we could not get timely advice. We want to do away with that problem," says Sharma, who quit his job with a Bangalore software firm earlier this year. He teamed up with two friends and IIT alumni Anshul Agrawal and Pratik Agarwal to carry the concept forward.
The portal has got over 600 registered users in the age group of 17-25, comprising under-graduates, fresh graduates, young professionals and those looking for a change of job. They also provide advice on entrepreneurship. A Facebook community and a group on LinkedIn network help with the publicity.
The mentors are usually students with an impeccable academic record. "We receive entries from students keen on advising people about careers and courses. After scanning their educational qualifications and personal bio data, the potential mentors were short-listed based on their credentials," explains Anshul, a civil engineering graduate, who helped design the website. At present, the portal only has mentors from the engineering and business fields and provides career advice on jobs in the automotive sector, finance, consultancy and FMCG sectors. The pool of mentors includes graduates from Harvard Business School, Stern School of Business, New York, Indian School of Business and the IIMs in the business stream and students from Stanford, MIT and the IITs from the engineering stream.