We’ve all heard how important networking is to having a successful business career, and having a mentor relationship plays a key role in this. BU’s mentor program is a great way for first year students to connect with second years and get advice about anything-- whether it’s getting acclimated to Boston, how to manage the workload, networking events, and social events in the first semester, or getting advice on what it takes to land that critical summer internship. Having a resource that’s been in your shoes in the recent past is invaluable. For second years, it’s a great way to connect and give back to the BU MBA community and build relationships that can last a lifetime.
The mentor program committee has worked hard to ensure that everybody knows what to expect and how each person can get the most out of his or her relationship. At the beginning of the year, students sign up if they’re interested in getting matched with a mentor. This way there is buy-in on both sides and we know which students are willing to take time out of their busy schedules to meet and help each other. This year, there are over 60 second year students mentoring over 90 first years. There is no deadline to sign up for the program, so if you decide to join later, the committee will gladly match you with a mentor.
My own interest in running the program stemmed from realizing the value of a mentor from a program my previous employer had, as well as having a professional mentor of my own (a BU MBA grad, class of 2000). Speaking of which, BU also has an alumni mentor program through the School of Management's Alumni Relations office, which connects club members with alumni in industry who are interested in providing feedback and supporting current students. Recently I helped match MBA Finance Club members interested in having a mentor with alumni who have years experience working in financial services, corporate finance, investment banking, and private equity.
I enjoy meeting my first year mentees regularly and helping them through their first semester. I still keep in touch with my second year mentors from last year and often seek feedback from my professional mentor. I believe a key part of any business school experience is connecting students with one another as well as with alumni, and these programs are part of the foundation on which successful networking is built.
Simon is a second year full-time MBA student and the co-president of the mentor program. Previously he worked in manufacturing and operations support in medical devices on the west coast and is currently concentrating in finance.