Submitted by Jacqui Ybarra, Korn Ferry

“The Korn Ferry | Year Up” initiative is a grassroots effort led by kind-hearted dreamers at Korn Ferry (KF) who believe in the impact that coaching can bring to the masses and particularly to those who have not had access to career support in historically excluded communities. They quickly identified Year Up as an outstanding organization to partner with to deploy a volunteer-based coaching model to a targeted population who has already invested so much into themselves through Year Up’s model.

Korn Ferry worked with Year Up Alumni Relations to pair Korn Ferry coaches and external partners (generally coaches or passionate HR professionals) with YU Alumni who were seeking support in their career advancement. The pairs worked together at their own cadence for 12 weeks or sometimes longer — totally at their discretion. In the matching process, they consider the geography, industry (or desired industry), and overarching goals of the alum to partner them with a coach who is capable of supporting them.

Coaches are encouraged to use what is already in their toolbelt to prompt their alumni and drive the conversations. Korn Ferry provides internal resources, a coaching 101 primer, and peer office hours for coaches to network and get fresh ideas and perspectives on how to serve their clients.

The Alumni are encouraged to initiate and maintain the relationships, use the resources the coaches share with them, complete tasks and exercises that are recommended, and revert back to the Year Up Alumni relations team for additional support. Since the pilot in September of 2020, KF has paired 57 coaches with coachees (Alumni) across three cohorts, and has an additional cohort scheduled for September 2021 with at least 17 pairings anticipated.

The end of cohort surveys has captured (from those that responded) approximately 235 hours spent by coaches in the last two cohorts and 55 hours to-date in the current cohort.