President Obama and Young Americans

From Singapore to San Francisco

“Tales of Excellence, Achievement and Mentorship” or “TEAM” is a weekly series partnered with StudentMentor.org where we feature college students and young Americans from diverse backgrounds across the country who are using mentorships to move their career and educational goals forward. You will hear in their own words how mentors have helped them succeed and transform into the leaders of tomorrow.

Through StudentMentor.org, college students can conveniently find and collaborate with mentors to successfully graduate from college and embark on their desired careers.

Jason journeyed from Singapore in 2008 hoping to overcome language and cultural barriers to be successful in the US. The transition was tough but with the help of financial aid Jason made his college dreams a reality and is now attending San Francisco State University. After being introduced to StudentMentor.org by a friend, Jason decided to reach out and seek career advice from a professional in his field. He and his mentor have shared several conversations and it has helped Jason see his future more clearly. Through StudentMentor.org, he accessed the professional advice he needed to excel. 

My name is Jason Au, a third year finance student at San Francisco State University. I was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Singapore. I moved to the United States from Singapore in 2008 and attended Castro Valley High School. I am the first in my family to attend college and my brother is currently a freshman at UCLA. The transition from Singapore was tough; I had to overcome language and cultural barriers. Although I had been educated in English since I was little, I still found it difficult in the beginning to adjust to a whole new environment. My family is not well off and I am fortunate to receive financial aid in order to attend college. I have worked since the summer of my freshman year, but I was fortunate enough to find internships and jobs that I was interested in.

I was introduced to StudentMentor.org by a friend and decided to try it out. I have mentorships with four professionals that have provided me with great advice for my career. I am interested in pursuing a career as a financial advisor and was seeking advice on how to attain my goals. I sent over my resume to all of the four mentors and they provided me with  great feedback to improve my resume. I also had the chance to speak with three of the four mentors on the phone to learn about their career backgrounds. I was able to ask them specific questions about their job responsibilities and they helped to explain technical questions that I didn’t understand.

It has been an awesome experience for me and I have benefited so much in the short time since I joined. StudentMentor.org helped me to remove the barrier of asking a professional for advice. It is daunting to ask someone that you do not know for advice, but knowing that the mentors in the program volunteer their time to help you, it definitely feels great.

Check out previous TEAM blog posts:

Ronnie Cho is an Associate Director in the Office of Public Engagement.

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