Career Management

Mentorship Program Overview

The Willamette MBA mentorship program pairs MBA students with successful professionals in business, government and not-for-profit careers, offering a unique opportunity for guidance, coaching and relationship building. Mentors assist students by providing critical perspective and coaching as mentees focus on career interests, develop resumeés of experience and create networks of professional contacts.

Students in Willamette's MBA program represent a diverse, global community. Our curriculum integrates business, government and non-profit management in a highly experiential environment. Mentees may be in their first or second year of the MBA program, international or domestic, and represent all spectrums of career tracks - early career, career change or career advancement.

Mentors are successful professionals who serve as role models for our students. We seek candidates who are positive, nurturing and able to give constructive feedback and have excellent coaching skills.

The Commitment

At a minimum, mentors should plan to meet with students at least once per month during the school year (September through April). Mentors are also invited to take part in optional formal group events and workshops. Past members have invited their mentees to networking events, job shadows, golf outings with colleagues, and meetings with co-workers and clients. Mentors may review mentees' resumeés, papers or projects and offer advice on organizations or opportunities to make connections.

Mentors may be from the Salem or Portland areas. Students specify in their mentorship program applications if they can meet the requirements of the program with a Portland-based mentor.

Effective Relationships

Students apply to be a part of the mentorship program and are proactive in contacting their mentors. Setting actionable, attainable goals as soon as possible helps ensure the relationship is mutually beneficial for the student and his or her mentor. At the initial meeting, students will bring 5 of their professional development goals. Your job is to negotiate one or two goals that will be realistic to focus on for this school year and develop a year-long plan. The student must turn this plan in to Beth Ursin by October 15. It works best, if you and the mentee can set your monthly meeting schedule right up front. Then at each meeting, confirm the next meeting date. Scheduling is the most difficult part of the mentorship program. 

The mentee is expected to take the initiative with his or her mentor, dress professionally, and provide career management staff with monthly updates and progress towards goals.

Mentor-Mentee Matching

Mentors submit their preferences in working with students, centering around the mentee's professional development goals. Pairs may be matched according to stage of career, industry, functional area or other personality traits. Matching students with mentors is both exciting and challenging, and the most successful relationships offer maximum benefits to both parties. Students list a number of professional development goals in their application and the career management staff works to pair them with like-minded mentors. Repeat mentors may ask that their previous mentees be involved in the decision process.

Mentor Program Events

Mentors have an opportunity to network with other mentors and mentees at a number of events in the fall and spring semesters. The first event is the most important to attend as this is where mentors share advice to each other and meet mentees for the first time. Other optional events throughout the year offer structured opportunities to connect with mentees and other students. If you are open to meeting with additional students BEYOND your assigned student, please RSVP for other events OR let Beth Ursin know as students are being encouraged to do informational with several professionals throughout the year. 

Mentorship Fall Kick-Off
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
5:30pm
Willamette University
Atkinson Mudd Building
315 Winter St SE
Salem, OR 97301

Mentorship Spring Connection Lunch
Friday, January 31, 2014
Time TBD
Willamette University, Portland Center
905 NW 12th Avenue, Suite 110
Portland, OR 97209

Please RSVP for these events and other Career Close Up Events.