Gen Y Advocate Connecting Young Talent and Mentors

Hello GenY!

It’s been a while since our last post. We’ve got mighty big things cooking in the kitchen. Summer took off without a hitch and kept me busy speaking at conferences and attending conferences and meeting with more people who can offer us a better paradigm into out generation. Lately, this Gen Y blogger has been hard at work interviewing  leaders of other organizations that we can certainly synergize with and partner with in the future. Some of the people I have spoken to are also fantastic advocates of gearing up Gen Y with the tools to succeed. So, without further ado I give to you someone from our Gen Y’er of the week format. He’s not Gen Y but has some great advice for us young aspiring entrepreneurs, corporate mavens and world-changers.

Visit to read more!

The Advocate

Mark Babbitt is the founder and CEO of a company you might have heard of (or applied to) called YouTern. In this post he tells us all about passion and gives us some advice on how we may be able to scale and grow our businesses. Did I mention he’s also a Gen Y Advocate?

Mark will also be speaking at our Infuse Ignite Sessions to motivate more upcoming Generation Y talent in January. Read on! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Mark Babbitt, CEO YouTern

Full Name: Mark Babbitt | Nickname: None | Age: 50

Location: Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Passion: My five children, mentor relationships, YouTern, San Francisco Giants

Tell us why: Since I was 12, I always knew I’d have six kids and live on a mountain somewhere (so close). The Giants? I can only attribute that passion to a love of baseball (I’ve coached baseball my entire adult life, it seems), and perhaps a significant character flaw (since they never seem to reward the time invested in them).

Mentor relationships and YouTern are virtually the same thought process: the way to accelerate confidence, which I strongly believe is a key to any success, is to learn. We learn from books, the internet, and mostly, we learn from mistakes. A mentor – one of the most satisfying relationships one can have – greatly reduces our learning curve when it comes to mistakes. A mentor, someone you trust and are willing to bare your soul to, is a “mistake counselor”. Through dialogue, the mentor not only helps you mentally process the mistakes you’ve made, but maybe prevents them from happening again.

Bio & Background:

Mark Babbitt is helping to drive evolution in the online recruiting industry with YouTern, an online community that aligns emerging talent with start-up and entrepreneurial-minded companies through internships.

A Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Mark founded YouTern after a distinguished track record with two online recruiting start-ups and a decade of experience as founder and CEO of a Silicon Valley marketing firm.

At YouTern, Mark dedicates much of his time to product development and strategy, investor inquiries, presales and strategic relationships with industry experts, career centers, students and employers. His vision for the company includes the national rollout of YouTern.

Prior to YouTern, Mark was Director of Sales at WorkMetro, a network of local recruitment websites.  While at WorkMetro, Mark led the company’s growth from $1.6 million in sales in 2004 to $4.9 million in 2007. His career in the online recruiting industry began at then start-up During Mark’s tenure at Regional, he helped lead the company to 415% growth from 1999 to 2003. eventually sold for $105M.

Earlier in his career, Mark honed his entrepreneurial skills as founder and CEO of a marketing firm. Undaunted by challenges from larger competitors, Mark led his company’s growth with a roster of blue chip clients, including IBM, HP, Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems, Toshiba, City of San Jose, and Lexmark.

Mark’s introduction to Silicon Valley was with Teradyne, Inc. as an Engineer/Engineering Manager from 1982 to 1990. He was trained as an Avionics Engineer while proudly serving in the US Air Force from 1978 to 1982.

What’s your venture:

YouTern facilitates the mentoring process by connecting emerging talent to leaders of dynamic start-ups, change-oriented non-profits, and passionate entrepreneurs. As we say when we’re introducing YouTern to employers and candidates… we’re like for young talent and mentors.

What are the most important decisions you make as someone armed with an idea?

Wow, good question…

Everyone has ideas; we dream of creating the next “must have” product, or the next Facebook.

First step, it seems, is to consider scale and ambition. Is the concept worthy of a cottage industry, perhaps a lifestyle business? Can we scale this idea into what most people think of as a fundable start-up? Or is it not worthy at all and maybe we should go back to the drawing board?

An idea remains just an idea until you build the right team to turn the concept into something more. The trouble is being able to articulate – “sell” – your idea to team members, early adopters, customers, and eventually investors. Since no one person can do all that himself, maybe your most important decision involves building the right team; a diverse group that can take that idea and turn it into an entrepreneurial venture with the best possible chance to succeed.

Which is most important to you – mission, core values or vision? Why?

At YouTern, we’re grateful we can say: “all of the above”… our mission/vision includes high standards of core values. At YouTern, we’re fortunate that our business model is focused on helping students/candidates find mentors through internships – greatly improving career strategies and promoting innovation and creativity in the process.

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader/entrepreneur/world-changer should possess? Why?

As a leader, the one trait an effective leader must have: the ability to teach, coach, motivate and mentor others – effectively.

I’m all about reducing learning curve, and getting more done in one week then we used to do in a month (or three months). Friends, family and team members often point out that this “passion” can make me a bit anal and impatient. It is when I step back – and realize that motivating through teaching is the most important aspect of leadership – that we excel.

From a purely CEO point of view I wrote a blog about this subject: Top 5 Tips From a Start-up CEO (After One Year of On-the-Job Training)

What are a few resources you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a future world changer or entrepreneur?

Focused social media (the productive variety vs. those who destroy your creativity with whining and blabbing); researching game-changing organizations like Tom’s Shoes and Kickstarter, blogs relevant to your venture/future, amazing chats on twitter like #genychat and #u30pro, websites like Under30CEO and Entrepreneur, and books from authors such as Geoffrey Moore, Stephen Covey and Jim Collins.

Who inspires you?
I am inspired by little things… the laugh of my children (and grandchildren), a calming rub of my shoulder from the woman who tolerates me, the process of survival (even the smallest animals have an incredible will to survive), the athlete who finds something inside him he didn’t know was there, and stupid movies like “Rocky” and “Field of Dreams”.

From a humanist “who” point of view, especially considering today’s false pundits, preachers and politicians, Abraham Lincoln is always an inspiration. The struggles he endured must have been extraordinarily intense; yet he kept his vision simply because it was the right thing to do.


Mark’s organization has helped hundreds of young talent find well-qualified mentors and dynamic internships.  Not only does he continue to pursue this avenue but he is also one of the few gen Y advocates that actually “get” social media and how our generation uses this platform to connect, collaborate and create. Checkout these links below to connect and learn more about Mark and YouTern.

Social Media Links
Twitter: @YouTernMark



One Response to “Gen Y Advocate Connecting Young Talent and Mentors”
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Aronado, Mark Babbitt. Mark Babbitt said: Thank you, AJ! Gen Y Advocate Connecting Young Talent and Mentors #geny #entrepreneur #startup […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: