The Executive Mentor Program is a volunteer mentoring network that partner’s undergraduate
students of the Ferris State University College of Business with business professionals,
which helps prepare students for flourishing careers in business and helps with career
planning, resume’ preparation, job shadowing, networking opportunities, lasting professional
relationships, and more.
By participating in this program, students will be paired with professional executives
and receive individualized help. Mentors are paired with students based on academic
and career fields, common interests, and/or availability.
The College of Business at Ferris State University will be using a traditional “one-on-one”
mentoring model. The program is two semesters (fall/spring) starting in October with
an orientation and mixer at the Big Rapids campus. Mentors and mentees commit to
a program designed to provide sophomore, junior, and senior level business students
with an invaluable opportunity for personal and professional development through the
support of a mentor.
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a partnership between two people which supports a personal and professional
development strategy. Mentoring is a term generally used to describe a relationship
between a less experienced individual, called a mentee, and a more experienced individual
known as a mentor.
What is a Mentor?
A mentor is an experienced person who provides information, advice, support, and encouragement
to another person, often leading and guiding by example through his/her expertise
or success. Mentors serve as trusted and significant advisors, providing a sounding
board for day-to-day issues encountered on the job and alternative perspectives on
issues in terms of both problem identification and problem solving.
Goals and Objectives
Help identify career paths for students and support students’ personal growth
Provide an opportunity for students to learn and practice professional networking
Equip students with the understanding and tools to make ethical and informed decisions
Shape students into confident graduates with excellent leadership, communication,
critical thinking, professionalism and other skills important to the transition to
the world of work.
Help students identify and pursue opportunities for employment related to their degrees
Help students recognize the use of their strengths
Mentor and Mentee Responsibilities
Mentee is responsible for initial contact with their mentor and setting up the first
Be mindful and respect your mentor’s time and honor any commitments you set up.
Keep confidences and realize the mentorship is a professional relationship.
Topics for First Meeting
After you have contacted your mentor and a time has been set for your first meeting,
begin to think about what goals you have and how your mentor can help you accomplish
Get to know one another. Ask your mentor to share their story with you. What was
college like for them? Did they know what professional career field they wanted to
major in upon arriving to college? The meeting will allow you both to form a professional
relationship and will help you build communication for future meetings. Try to keep
your questions about the professional life.
Talk about your expectations for the mentoring experience.
Discuss goals you wish to accomplish, put these in writing (use the Action Plan).
Talk about your Strengths and how you use them (your mentor may not know about the
Clifton StrengthsFinder; explain).
Review the mentor/mentee agreement. Discuss expectations of how you will meet and
how often. Agree to be respectful of each other’s time and respond promptly to emails
or other correspondence. Remember to establish accountability, for each to do what
you say you are going to do.
Discuss and set goals for the experience/professional relationship. Remember that
your mentor will have their own goals for the experience/ professional relationship.
Put these in writing so you both can review them frequently and assess progress.
Plan the next meeting time and day. Communicate to your mentor what you would like
to discuss during your next meeting. Create an agenda and send it to your mentor
prior to your next meeting.
Possible Topics and Activities
Have your mentor review your resumes, cover letter and interview skills and overall
Discuss with your mentor suggestions regarding professional development organizations,
internships or other involvement that would help you enter into your professional
Discuss academics; questions about class topic that relate to the mentorship.
Ask what they might have done differently as far as academics and career, knowing
what they know now.
Go over your “elevator pitch”.
Mentor and mentee should contact each other at least one hour once a month via phone,
video conferencing, text, email or in person.
Plan and meet with your assigned student/mentee once per month at a minimum for the
duration of the seven-month program.
Provide informal updates on mentee progress.
Attend the Mentor Program Orientation & Mixer in October.
Should be engaged and accessible
Mentors are encouraged to have their mentee “shadow” you at your place of employment.
This gives your mentee a since of what it is like in a professional setting. Please
note: There are no expectations to offer an internship or job to your mentee.
Help clarify your mentee’s goals and aspirations
Serve as a professional resource to students
Share your own experiences, resources and networks with your mentee
Should be a positive role model
Topics for First Meeting
Mentor programs are generally structured to be driven by the mentee. However, your
mentee may need some guidance during the first meeting. Therefore, below please find
some suggestions for your first meeting.
Share you “story” with your mentee, and learn their story. Explain to them why you
decided to go into your current professional field. Tell them what your college experience
was like. What clubs or student organizations were you a part of? What type of internships
were you offered during college? How do you feel those experiences benefitted your
career? Discuss you work history.
Talk about your experiences you may have had with mentoring. What do you feel worked
well and what did not? What do you each hope to get out of the experience? Do you
have a mentor who played a large part of your professional growth? Are you still
in contact with this mentor?
Take time to review the mentor/mentee agreement. Discuss expectations of how you
will meet and how often. Agree to be respectful of each other’s time and respond
promptly to emails or other correspondence. Remember to establish accountability,
for each to do what you say you are going to do.
Discuss and set your goals. Ask your mentee what you can help them with throughout
the mentorship. How do you plan to accomplish these goals? Set a goal for your relationship.
Ensure to write these down on your agreement so you may both review them frequently
and assess progress.
Plan the next meeting. It is a good idea to set the time and day for the next meeting.
Have your mentee decide on a topic for you both to discuss during the next meeting
and suggest they create an agenda which can be sent to you prior to your next meeting.
This will help keep your mentee engaged and active in the relationship.
Possible Topics and Activities
Discuss what activities your mentee is currently involved with to help be more marketable
for employment upon graduation. Offer suggestions.
Review your mentee’s resume, cover letter and interview skills providing honest feedback
and suggestions. Discuss academics and balancing the high demands placed on today’s college student.
Share your experiences and views.
Discuss a five year plan and career options. At times it can be difficult for students
to see beyond their first job.
Discuss a typical work-day, projects and developments in your company
Recommend some professional development organizations or activities in their career
field that they can become involved in.
How to Get Started
The Coordinator of the CliftonStrengths/Executive Mentor program will facilitate the
first introduction via email, but it is the mentee's responsibility to initiate the
conversation. The first meeting should be planned by phone, in-person or Skype. Allow
at least an hour to get to know one another, and during this time set expectations
and goals for the relationship. We highly recommend that at the end of each meeting
you plan when you will meet again.
We want you to have the best mentoring experience possible, please do not hesitate
to contact the coordinator at any time if you have questions or concerns. We will
keep in regular contact with you to see how things are going and to gather any feedback
or suggestions you may have.
We encourage the mentoring relationship to last until a student graduates. However,
we are also aware at times personalities may not be compatible. For this reason we
ask that mentors and mentees evaluate their relationship on an annual basis. Due
to other commitments or just a general lack of connectedness, mentor or mentees may
decide to terminate their relationship early. Please contact the coordinator should
you make this decision. We hope that mentors and mentees remain a part of one another’s
professional network beyond the mentoring program.