At Rutgers Business School, the aim of new mentoring effort is "manageable and meaningful"
Being a mentor was never easier.
Rutgers Business School is looking for working professionals willing to spend five hours over the course of five months mentoring a student who is preparing for a career in their field. Mentors are needed from a variety of areas, including accounting, finance, global business, marketing, management and supply chain logistics.
The new program, or TeamUP as it will be called, is designed to be both manageable and meaningful, said Sangeeta Rao, assistant dean for mentoring programs at RBS. “It’s a tangible way to give back,” Rao said.
The program requires mentors – candidates should have at least three years of work experience – to commit themselves to five hours over a five-month period. During that time, the mentor will be asked to have three face-to-face meetings in addition to regular online exchanges with their student.
Mentoring professionals will be asked to advise students on professional development, interpersonal skills, career goals and to share real-life insights about the business world as well as their own lives. Ideally, they should be comfortable speaking with students about ethical challenges they have faced as well as their ideas on citizenship and the role they play in their communities.
“We want the students to get a sense of them as people,” Rao said.
A pilot program involving Future Business Leaders of America and students in the Executive MBA program is scheduled to begin in March. The official launch of TeamUP, which will be open to undergrads, will occur in the fall of 2013.
The goal is to scale up the program significantly, Rao said. Now, the focus is on generating interest among prospective mentors. It's not too early to apply.
For many professionals, mentoring has proven to be a rewarding experience.
Edvard Tsygansky, who works in the area of finance, served as a mentor at Rutgers Business School last year. “It felt good to help someone and answer some basic questions that I know I had when I was at her stage in my professional life,” Tsygansky said. “It felt great to make her process easier.”
Rao said for business school students, the experience of having a mentor is an opportunity to “round out” their education and experience as they prepare to enter the real world.
And there is proof that mentoring programs at Rutgers have done just that.
“I have learned a lot from my mentor,” accounting major Mei-Chan said, explaining that he helped her prepare for an interview, suggested ways she could improve her resume and made her realize the importance of networking.
“I know my mentor is busy in his work,’’ said Mei-Chan, who is expected to graduate in 2014, “but I am glad he is willing to answer my questions and keep (in) contact with me.”
“I really think this program,” she added, “enriched my knowledge about the real world.”