Women and Leadership Initiative

Becoming a Mentor

Thank you for your interest in serving as a mentor in the USFSP Kate Tiedemann College of Business (KTCOB) Women and Leadership Initiative Mentoring Program. Your advice, strategic insight, and access to connections will help one of our graduate students advance in her or his career.

Why Should I Become a Mentor?

As an accomplished professional, you have led many teams over the years, driving outcomes and success. Now, you have the opportunity to share this knowledge and experience and help develop emerging leaders in KTCOB’s graduate Master of Business Administration and Master of Accountancy programs. By joining this program 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. Additionally, mentors often report they feel a sense of renewal and accomplishment by mentoring someone.

Role of a Mentor

As a leader, one of your key roles is to develop other leaders. Two critical components of mentoring graduate students are helping them understand how to build a strategic vision for their careers and helping them build their networks in order to move into an upper leadership position. Additionally, showing your mentee how to navigate growth opportunities and improve his or her personal branding will help your mentee advance. Active listening, using opportunities as teaching moments, and asking the right questions will all be important as you help encourage growth and development.

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 mentoring 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 mentoring pilot program.

Sample Meeting Schedule

These topics are only suggestions; we recommend you work with your mentee to set an agenda for each meeting.

  • Meeting 1 – Get to know each other, review StrengthsFinder assessment for mentee and mentor (if available), and set goals and expectations for the program duration. Discuss personal branding and image improvements as well as the creation of a personal vision and mission statement.
  • Meeting 2 – Discuss the mentor’s leadership experience and go on a tour of his or her company. Discuss how the mentor excelled at pivoting and how the mentee could adapt in his or her career.
  • Summer Professional Development Event (optional)
  • Meeting 3 – Discuss a current opportunity or challenge and how mentee could leverage it to move forward in her or his career path. Introduce mentee to two contacts who would provide professional growth opportunities and discuss how to leverage these introductions for career success.
  • Meeting 4 (optional) – Final discussion of personal branding and using an opportunity or challenge to drive professional growth. Introduce mentee to two additional contacts who would provide professional growth opportunities and discuss how to leverage these introductions for career success.
  • Pilot Program Celebration
  • After the Celebration in November, you are encouraged to continue in the mentoring relationship, if mutually desired.

Frequently Asked Questions


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