In collaboration with our external Advisory Board, the Department offers the Mentoring Program to provide professional guidance to juniors, seniors, and prospective majors. Mentors are members of the Western North Carolina business and nonprofit community who are committed to student success.
In a mentoring relationship, both mentors and mentees grow and learn:
- Mentors provide support, encouragement, and inspiration by sharing their life experiences.
- Mentees are given a unique opportunity to build a trusting relationship with a leading local professional.
- Mentoring provides a sounding board to discuss career issues and a way to expand professional networks.
For a mentoring relationship to be productive, both the mentor and mentee commit to its success.
- At the outset, and with the help of their mentors, mentees establish their goals for the relationship.
- The mentor and mentee mutually determine the best way to communicate with each other and how often to do so.
- Both parties agree to be responsive to each other’s communications, the ordinary business norm being within 24 hours.
What is the Mentoring Program?
The Department of Management and Accountancy pairs DMA juniors, seniors, and prospective majors with business and nonprofit professionals from western North Carolina who are eager to share their expertise and experience with students.
Who sponsors the Program?
The Program is offered through the Department of Management and Accountancy in collaboration with our Advisory Board. Board members oversee and monitor the Program with the assistance of the DMA Faculty Liaison.
What are the eligibility requirements for participation?
The Program is open to juniors and seniors who’ve declared a major in management or accounting. It is also open to prospective DMA majors on an as-capacity-allows basis.
Who are the mentors?
Mentors are either members of the Advisory Board or our stakeholders and supporters in the business and nonprofit community.
Who assigns the mentor-mentee matches?
The DMA Faculty Liaison assigns tentative matches that are then reviewed and finalized by the Chair of the Advisory Board.
How are the matches made?
Advisory Board members and the DMA Faculty Liaison attempt to match students with a professional based on the information they provide in the application to the Program in the “Application” section below. While it is not always possible to match students with someone in a specifically requested industry, students are urged to remember that experienced professionals are still able to provide invaluable career advice, regardless of their specific areas of expertise.
What areas of specialization do past mentors represent?
Past mentors represent a wide spectrum of specialization, including corporate finance, international operations, public accounting, nonprofit management, real estate, and marketing and branding.
How long does the mentor-mentee relationship last?
Both parties commit to one semester, although they are free to continue the relationship by mutual agreement.
What’s the nature of the relationship–is it flexible or highly structured?
The Program is deliberately designed to be flexible—no structure is imposed on the mentoring relationship. The intent is to allow and encourage mentees and mentors to determine what works best for them in terms of goal-setting, communication, etc., so that their relationship evolves and adapts as desired. As a result, every mentoring relationship will be unique.
How do mentees and mentors communicate with each other?
How mentees and mentors choose to communicate is strictly up to them according to their personal preferences and schedules.
How often do mentees and mentors communicate?
Just as with the form of communication, mentees and mentors mutually decide how frequently they want to communicate, and that frequency will vary throughout the relationship as circumstances dictate. Experience shows, however, that mentoring is most successful when both parties “check in” with each other on a regular basis. As a general rule, mentors usually make it a point to touch base with their mentees every couple of weeks or so.
What are the expectations for the relationship for both the mentee and mentor?
As indicated in the “Principles” above, for it to be successful, mentoring requires a commitment from each party.
Mentees enter the relationship with at least a few specific goals in mind so that their mentors have a clear sense of how to be helpful. Mentees agree to be open to mentors’ observations and advice and to respond to their emails and phone calls promptly. (With regard to conducting themselves as professionals, students should review the Department’s “Professional Behavior Expectations” before committing to a mentoring relationship.)
Mentors, in turn, agree to be equally prompt in their responses to communications from their mentees. They also agree to inform their mentees whenever they anticipate that their work demands may require slower-than-usual replies. In addition, when mentors find that their mentees’ questions and interests fall outside their areas of expertise, they offer to consult with their professional contacts.
What kinds of topics do mentees and mentors discuss?
Anything of professional interest is a possible topic of conversation between mentees and mentors. Typical mentee questions focus on the nature of career paths within a specific field, opportunities for practical experience, networking and building professional relationships, creating effective resumes and portfolios, and general advice about exploring and starting careers. Again, as discussed above, one of the keys to a successful mentoring relationship is to begin with at least one or two goals in mind.
Students interested in participating in the Program are asked to provide the Department and Advisory Board with relevant personal information by completing a brief questionnaire.
For further information about the Mentoring Program, contact either of these individuals:
Mr. Bill Schulz
UNC Asheville Advisory Board Chair
Dr. Richard Turpen
UNC Asheville Faculty