Update IX: Mentoring Program
August 22, 2006
The new Yale SOM curriculum has a lofty goal: to transform management education. However, it is also tailored to the interests of individual students through the newly developed Mentoring Program.
The Mentoring Program begins during the orientation period and runs throughout the first year. Groups of 14 first-year students are assigned to a mentoring team, consisting of a faculty member, a staff member, and a second-year student mentor. Each group will meet as a whole at least once a semester. The programs for these meetings will be closely integrated with the material students are learning in the classroom. First-year students will also meet regularly with their faculty mentor and at least once with their staff and second-year student mentors.
Heidi Brooks, a lecturer in organizational behavior at Yale SOM, took the lead in developing the program. She says, “The Mentoring Program is really about students being able to seek, understand, connect to, and articulate their own meaningful aspirations. We are here to inspire real inquiry and reflection about how each of our students can be successful at SOM and beyond.”
The program provides support, accountability, and structured feedback to enable students to develop successfully, both as individuals and as managers. Success is defined as skills within three focal areas:
1. Academic performance – grades and comments from faculty
2. Citizenship behaviors – interactions with others in the community
3. Personal mastery – setting and meeting career goals
Says Brooks, “We believe this triad of performance, citizenship, and individual initiative taps into the core elements of what it takes to succeed in the world beyond SOM. To the extent that we educate students according to these parameters, we are serving their development for years to come.”
To support the Mentoring Program, Yale SOM has implemented a new online tracking program to help monitor mentees’ progress. The system will also provide a useful communication tool for mentors in their individual meetings with students.
“The Mentoring Program capitalizes on the primary advantage of a small school: personal relationships,” says Brooks. “Not only do students get to know key faculty, staff, and second-year students, but being known increases their sense of personal accountability.”