Women and Leadership Initiative

Becoming a Mentor

Thank you for your interest in serving as a mentor in USF Muma College of Business’ Women and Leadership Initiative Mentorship Program. Your advice, strategic insight, and access to connections will help a graduate student succeed in their career.

Why Should I Become a Mentor?

Mentors often report they feel a sense of renewal and accomplishment from giving back to the next generation. Here are some reasons mentors choose to be a part of this program: 

  • Develop relationships with USF students 
  • Grow talent pipelines with accomplished graduate students 
  • Strengthen work to achieve equity for women, and specifically women of color, in the workplace 
  • Contribute to anti-racism work in the business community
Mentors Benefits

Role of a Mentor

As a leader, one of your key roles is to develop other leaders. As a mentor, you will help the next group of leaders ascend their career ladders, respond with strategic insight into opportunities and challenges, and network with seasoned professionals. Active listening, using opportunities as teaching moments, and asking the right questions will all be important as you help encourage growth and development. Critical components of mentoring graduate students are: 

  • helping them understand how to build a strategic vision for their careers, 
  • helping them build their networks to move toward an upper leadership position, 
  • showing your mentee how to navigate growth opportunities, and 
  • showing them how to improve their personal branding. 

Apply the "Golden Circle" to Guide Personal Vision

Using the Golden Circle to Guide Personal Visioning

Simon Sinek describes the importance of Starting with Why. The Golden Circle is an excellent way to think not only about corporate success but also personal visioning and creating a personal mission statement. The summer professional development workshop will focus on the Golden Circle and how to use it to guide your personal vision and mission. It is important for our students to understand themselves and their next steps not just in terms of what and how, but also why.

The Mentoring Relationship

According to Linda Phillips-Jones of The Mentoring Group (Grass Valley, Calif.), an impactful mentoring relationship includes the following characteristics: 

  • Both parties agree to make this relationship a high priority and set reasonable, mutual goals. 
  • While mentees are responsible for arranging meetings with mentors, both parties agree to communicate clearly, in a timely fashion and through an agreeable modality (in person, over the phone, via an online application, or, occasionally, through email). 
  • To ensure your mentorship relationship is strong, we recommend that email communication not be the primary mode of communication. 
  • Both parties hold this relationship as something to be honored, and information shared is to be kept confidential. 
  • Both parties respect each other’s time and ensure that meetings start and end on-time. 
  • Both parties agree to develop goals, milestones, and timelines. Both parties work actively toward the achievement of such and monitor progress each month. 
  • Both parties agree to offer constructive feedback as needed to ensure the relationship and the mentee are successful in the long term. 
  • Both parties agree to maintain an enjoyable, yet professional relationship. Dating and other personal relations are prohibited during the mentorship program. 


Lisa Yacso
Director, WALI Mentorship Program
(727) 873-4749