Everybody is talented in something!
A market where talent matters
In the past it was a long-held opinion that “talent will find its way,” all you have to do is let it unfold, and any kind of intervention is unnecessary. Professionals now know, however, that this statement is not valid anymore – it merely allows us to take the burden off our shoulders and transfer responsibility to the potentially talented. Such a phrase also implies that “if talent doesn’t find its way, the person in question must not be gifted enough.” Today it’s clearly a global imperative that one should actively seek the talented. The problem is that many people identify this task as the most critical one when it comes to nurturing talent at school. It’s not a coincidence, since if we are unable to discover the genuinely gifted, even the most carefully planned program will be ineffective for them. Furthermore, it is also a decisive factor because it is very hard to recognize exactly the talent of others. So, it is vital to launch as many projects aiming at the facilitation of identification as possible, and these programs should also help students dare to show their abilities.
The “talent market” managed with the help of MATEHETSZ (The Association of Hungarian Talent Support Organizations) is a good example for that. This program was created as part of the Talent Bridges Programme, and aims to establish a mentor-apprentice relationship and cooperation between talented young people and their mentors.
When talent unfolds
The Talent Bridges Programme assists in bringing together youngsters and the environment where they can profit from and make use of their talent (that is, the professional world). They have a sub-program called “Talent Market.” They expect applications from young people who would like to get some personal support from a more experienced mentor in order to develop their career and unfold their talent. The mentor does not necessarily come from the domain in which the applicant’s talent lies, but this may help the apprentice reap the benefits of their abilities because such hidden skills can surface that he/she previously had no knowledge of.
Within the framework of the project, the mentor and the mentee decide together the aim of their joint work, then delimit whether they will need two or three months to achieve this goal. They also settle how often and in what form they will meet to carry out their plans.
Participants of the Talent Market program could learn the basics of Prezi (a tool for making presentations). Then they received a template where they could record the landmarks they reached during the cooperation with their mentors.
The mentor program was of great use to the young because it played an important role in the surfacing of their previously hidden abilities and skills. What is more, they were also instructed what details they should pay attention to, what personal traits they should emphasize more or actually leave behind in the course of their work. They get directions how to become the person they wish to be. For example, Anna Alexandrov psychology student was aided to become a successful writer. Her mentor, Károly Sándor Pallai writer-poet helped make her name and talent known to the public before the future publication of her book since self-promotion is indispensable before making the real hit. During their cooperation, Anna finished her first novel and there were two interviews made about her work.
“I am very grateful for the opportunities offered by the program and for the help of my mentor as well. I think that now I have more concrete ideas about the path to becoming a successful writer. I’ve learned, for example, that I am allowed – what’s more, it’s a useful thing – to contact magazines, offer them an interview, and ask for their attention because there are some people who are really interested in what I’m doing.
The indispensability of nurturing talent
The nurturing of talent mostly depends on the various school programs and projects aiming at talent development, since they have a decisive role in the support of rising talents.
At the European level, Hungarian talent development is outstanding. There is a constant European interest in the long-term, twenty-year Hungarian talent development strategy and the Talent Support Network Model ever since they have been launched. Hungarian associations had joined those European workshops that deal with talent management a long time ago, even before the country entered the Union. This cooperation grew only stronger over the years, and Hungary has become one of the leaders of this initiative.
As a result of their work, the Hungarian Genius Programme was born which collects and spreads those foreign and Hungarian ideas and tools that are useful in nurturing talent. Furthermore, the European Talent Centre of Budapest, originally created to continue the work started abroad, offers new opportunities to help the talented. It goes without saying that talent development is a task of strategic importance in every state, on every continent. The Europe 2000 strategy places great emphasis on the gifted since they will be the major sources of creativity and innovation, and without them the EU could not maintain its competitiveness. As Mihály Csíkszentmihályi said, “in the conservation of human values one of the most important factors is talent development.”
What’s your hidden talent?
Written by Zsófia Tupi
Transleted by Mária Kenesei