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Who are They and What Do Business Mentors Do?

Our mentors are successful corporate executives and entrepreneurs from Jaipur, Delhi, NCR and other states who volunteer their time out of their desire to “give back” because of the success they have enjoyed. Many of them graduated from Taxila, and were the beneficiaries of good mentoring while in school and in their careers. They have a strong desire to help our students maximize their potential for success. Mentors give advice and constructive feedback on students’ work and behaviour, personal skills, and provide formal and informal instruction on organizational politics, and technical information related to business. Mentors provide students with introductions to contacts inside their own organizations as well as outside business contacts. They provide opportunities for students to demonstrate and enhance their business and personal skills. Together the team members and mentor determine the focus areas and goals desired for the team to address during the Four-semester session, making each individual team a customized entity.

What are the Benefits of a Mentoring Program?

Mentors –Our mentors have expressed to us the great personal satisfaction they derive from associating with and contributing to the development of our outstanding young people in the School of Business. They are able to interact with potential employees, evaluating their capabilities in an informal relationship. There are opportunities for them to meet other mentors and enhance their own network of successful business people. Lastly, the mentors appreciate the opportunity to indirectly provide “pay back” for the help they received from good mentors during their education and early in their careers.

Students –Our students gain invaluable first-hand information from successful professionals who share their time, knowledge and experiences with them. Students have access to companies and guest speakers and an opportunity to develop a close professional relationship with an executive in a successful business, non-profit corporation, or government agency. All this serves to help the student grow in skills and knowledge, provide contacts for possible internships or employment, and provides a better understanding of what is desired and expected of them when they enter the business world. Because “knowledge is power”, this program serves as a great self-confidence booster for the student.

Goals Sought by Business Students through Their Mentors

The following mentoring objectives are most often mentioned by students:
To gain real business world exposure, connections, and insights regarding real-life business situations,concerns, and issues.
To learn about their mentor’s job, business, or industry.
To acquire information on business functions (marketing, accounting, etc.)
To learn business and management techniques.
To obtain career advice and understanding.
To apply and supplement textbook and classroom concepts.
To develop business, social and political skills.
To make contacts within the business community that will be potentially useful in selecting internships (all PGDBM students are encouraged to complete an internship) or possible employment.

Mentoring Program Expectations

What Mentors Can Reasonably Expect From Students– When a student agrees to participate in the business mentor program, a mentor can expect him or her to:
Meet with the mentor as often as schedules permit. The minimum to keep the relationship productive seems to be once/ twice a week during the academic year, but groups can meet more often than that.
Be considerate of the mentor’s time. Return phone calls or email messages promptly. Be on time. Attend all
scheduled meetings. Come to each meeting with a prepared agenda.
Suggest topics to be discussed at mentor meetings.
Keep commitments made to the mentor.
Make suggestions for companies they would like to visit. Ask the mentor for suggestions or advice.
Keep confidences between the two of them.
Work out any minor concerns about the relationship.

What Students Can Reasonably Expect From Mentors

At the same time, it is reasonable for the student to expect the mentor to:
1. Attend regular meetings
2. Provide sound advice on business and career-related concerns.
3. Follow through on commitments.
4. Keep confidences.
5. Help resolve any conflicts that may arise.
6. Be honest yet caring and diplomatic in feedback provided.

What the Program Expects of Both Mentors and Students

Hold at least four meetings per school year. The average meeting time should be 1-2 hours.
Alert the MBA Director immediately if it appears that the group is having problems (i.e., holding meetings, establishing goals and agendas, maintaining productive relationships, etc.).
The Mentor and Students Should Expect the Dean to:
Be available to them by phone, in person, or, respond promptly to email.
Be a sounding board on the mentoring program and mentor-student relationships.
Help resolve problems or conflicts.
Reassign students to a different mentor if appropriate.
Replace mentors who must leave the program for whatever reasons.

Possible Discussion Topics

1. Methods, techniques, and guidelines for brainstorming.
2. The Quality Improvement Process
3. Managing ethics in the corporation.
4. Dealing with gender issues.
5. Developing a business plan and starting a new business.
6. Differing work environments and managerial styles.
7. ‘Dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of behaviour as an employee.
8. How to teach/learn delegation
9. The process of downsizing in a local firm to reduce costs and layers of management.
10. Cultural differences between North American and international business persons.
11. Cultural differences among employees