BEST Mentoring Program
Business Executive for Student Transformation (BEST) Mentoring Program
The Graham School of Management (GSM) has established the BEST Mentoring Program to provide students with the opportunity to learn from highly successful and experienced executives while forging long-lasting, professional relationships. The focus of the program is to specifically foster the development of confident graduates with exceptional communications, leadership, critical thinking, ethical decision-making, and intrapersonal and interpersonal skills.
Business mentoring and coaching is part of fostering talents in academic, professional, social, ethical and business leadership among undergraduate business students. Naturally, we have had various people in our lives that we have turned to for advice and guidance such as family members or colleagues -- people we trust, respect and whose knowledge, wisdom and skills we value.
This mentoring program will contribute to the personal growth and professional network that can make a difference in a student's success. Mentors will support, encourage and accelerate students' progress and results both professionally and personally through their own knowledge and experiences. It is often said, "Want to be the best? Learn from the best."
The mission of the BEST Mentoring Program is to build meaningful and professional relationships between current business students and real-world business professionals who can share their experiences to inspire students.
While each mentoring pair is encouraged to establish their own specific goals for the relationship, in general, it is expected that mentors will assist their mentees in the following ways:
- Advance the student's understanding of their effective interpersonal and communication skills, both verbally and nonverbally.
- Expand the student's career-based knowledge and awareness of professional opportunities.
- Assist the student in building their own professional networks.
- Foster student's understanding of respect and responsibility for stewardship and of integrity in successful business management and effective leaders.
There is no expectation that mentors will find their mentee a job or internship. Their assistance in this program will naturally increase the student's awareness of professional opportunities and the ability to cultivate their own successful career opportunities.
Executive Mentor Matching
The executive mentors are individuals with at least five years of professional experience in business. They are alumni and friends of SXU who volunteer their time to help students prepare professionally and succeed in their chosen career. Following are some examples of ways that mentors can help students:
- Coach students on their soft (oral and written communications, etc.) skills.
- Critique their resumes.
- Provide tips for interviewing.
- Give advice on professional communication, dress and demeanor.
- Discuss industry trends and career opportunities.
- Identify internships and job opportunities.
- Introduce students to colleagues to help them build their professional network.
- Share experiences on professional failures, as well as successes, and the lessons learned.
With an executive mentor, students will gain an advantage over other young professionals preparing to enter the workforce as they will learn about drive, attitude, professionalism and the importance of networking while still in college.
Students must meet the following criteria in order to apply to be matched with an executive mentor:
- Attend a BEST Mentoring Program Information Session.
- Be currently enrolled in a GSM Degree Program with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Have at least a sophomore standing (30 credits) or greater.
- Have at least 12 months from their anticipated graduation date, as we want a mentor to be able to work with a student for a year or more before he/she graduates.
- Be prepared to engage in a professional relationship, one in which the student will be responsible for maintaining regular communication, willing to listen and learn, and take initiative.
While the academic education and career advice that students receive at the Graham School of Management is excellent, having a professional relationship with an executive who has successfully navigated the business world can give the student real, sound advice that would be invaluable.
Applications and Agreement
Before beginning the BEST Mentoring Program application, interested students will need to adhere to the following items:
- Only current students enrolled in the GSM Program are eligible.
- Students must spend an average completion time of 30-60 minutes providing the following information: personal information, education, including previous colleges, work history, and an essay which should include a personal summary, career plans and aspirations, hobbies and interests, and why you want an executive mentor.
- Uploading a photo is optional.
- Create a complete, honest and accurate application to be matched with the best mentor for you.
To apply for the BEST Mentoring Program, please fill out the Student Application (DOC) and return it to Nick Mancari. If you have any questions, please contact Nick at 773-298-6303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mentors interested in taking part in the BEST Mentoring Program must spend an average completion time of 10-20 minutes providing the following information: name, contact information, employment information, professional experience, education, their reason for participating, one professional reference and a resume/curriculum vitae (optional).
BEST Mentoring Activities and Events
Just being able to talk with a professional is a great help to a student. However, there are several activities that will enhance both mentor and student experiences in this mentoring program.
- Mentees can request their mentors to review and provide feedback on their resumes. And, if it is appropriate, mentors can offer to be a reference.
- Mentors can give mentees clear, objective feedback regarding their attitude, presence and other skills that could benefit their professional interpersonal skills.
- Mentors can help mentees create a strategic plan for their academic career and professional advancement, year to year, including looking for relevant part-time jobs, searching for the best internship and otherwise achieving their goal.
- Mentors may suggest mentees join a professional organization in their career of choice as a student member and encourage them to join soft-skill enhancing programs, such as student chapters of service clubs or civic organization.
The Graham School of Management will host a "BEST Mentorship Program Kickoff" where Mentors and Mentees will get to meet for the first time and those continuing in the program can touch base on their schedules and plans for the upcoming school year. At the end of each year, BEST mentors and mentees come together for a celebratory banquet. It is a great time to come together as one, share stories and celebrate another successful year of the Best Mentorship Program! These events will provide an opportunity for networking with other executive mentors and students, as well as GSM faculty and staff. All mentors and their mentees will be invited to attend these events.