Why a Mentor?

Portland State University’s School of Business Administration offers an official mentor program for all graduate students, including Master in International Management students. A short application and your resume in the fall term (approximately October) is required to request to be paired with a mentor through the month of July. This does not mean you will be guaranteed a mentor, as there is a limited supply of mentors – many mentors take on as many as three graduate student mentees.

SBA career services and administration do their best to pair up mentors with mentees based upon the mentor’s career path and current job duties or position, the student applications and resumes submitted, compatibility, and similarities in various areas. What does this mean for the student seeking a mentor? It means that your mentor is hand picked for you. It could be that you share a common career path or goal, a love for sustainability, you have similar upbeat and can-do attitudes, your mentor is an entrepreneur and you hope to one day own your own business, or maybe you both have juggled a family and kids while trying to complete your graduate degree.

Mentors can help you learn about the business world and help you to grow as a person – both professionally and on a personal level. Mentors can do all of these things and more. Do not be afraid to ask your mentor questions!

  • Give you professional and personal advice (think, interview wardrobe)
  • Tell you about their job so you can find out more about fields you did not know anything about prior
  • Share mistakes they have made throughout their career path so you can learn from them
  • A sounding board — someone to bounce ideas off of
  • Give you ideas on how to improve your resume and your interview game
  • Help you network by introducing you to their business contacts
  • Help you brainstorm your own career path if you are unsure (and even if you think you are sure)
  • Ask those “tough” questions that not even your friends and family will ask you

If you applied for a mentor and did not get paired with one this time, do not fret. You could still get an “unofficial” mentor – someone who is business savvy and does not mind taking you under his or her wing. In fact, you could have a whole team of mentors! The more the merrier! Remember, if you really wanted a mentor but did not get one this year, you have 40+ friends in the MIM program who might be happy to introduce you to one of their official or unofficial mentors. Mentors are often very open to increasing their networking opportunities and like to be involved in the next Global Leaders’ lives (yes, all MIMers are the next Global Leaders). And if you are a part time student, you are extra lucky because you have another shot at an official SBA mentor the following fall.

For more information about the SBA’s Mentor Program, the Mentor Relationship, or if you are a business leader or professional who is interested in becoming a mentor, click HERE.


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Filed under Ali's Entries, Careers, Mentorship, Networking

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