A new way to shape the people you'll be hiring in 2014 (or sooner)

November 22, 2010: 3:54 PM ET

When Ashkon Jafari was in college (starting at age 16), "I had no one to turn to for advice and felt lost," he says.

Then he snagged an internship where he lucked into meeting a boss he now describes as "an outstanding mentor," who helped him choose the right courses and find his first real job.

The experience proved so valuable that it inspired, a Silicon Valley-based nonprofit Jafari launched last month.

StudentMentor is the first national online mentoring matchmaking service designed to pair up college students who have questions with experienced businesspeople who have answers.

Prospective mentors and mentees can join for free on StudentMentor's web site and are matched according to their areas of common interest. Geography isn't a factor, as most mentoring sessions take place online or by phone. In its six weeks of existence so far, 296 mentors have signed on. More

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