The CEO Netweavers, Mentorship Program, teams individuals who are in an MBA or BA program, with one of our members.
One definition of mentoring is the process or act of helping and providing advice to a less experienced and younger person. Mentoring is shaped by how a mentor leverages their skills and experiences to offer their expertise, experience, knowledge, advice, and above all, guide the mentee who wants to follow in a similar path.
CEO Netweaver members certainly qualify as mentors. It has consistently proven to be a mutually rewarding program, and one of the favorite activities of our members. In fact, some members have 2 - 3 mentees each year. EMBA candidates in their second year are offered a mentor, and our partnerships with both schools tap into their knowledge of each candidate as a key part of the pairing process. It also gives us the volume to help make the parings work well for both mentor and mentee. CEO Netweavers has become the primary mentor provider for several EMBA programs. Some past participants said…
My mentor, began with his powerful questions around my personal value proposition and encouraged me to build comprehensive goals for personal and professional growth.
He was extremely knowledgeable and provided me with advice and innovative ideas that directly tied to the work taught in the classes focused on managing my career.
Perhaps the most valuable result of the relationship was the ability to share information with someone who could provide me with valuable advice and not worry about hurting my career.
The timing of the program depends on each school but overall, mentors first engage with their mentees in August (aligned with the school year), and the formal program ends with graduation in the Spring.
Monthly sessions are the goal during that period, with the mentee setting the agenda for topics to discuss. Many of these relationships continue on informally, sometimes for years as mutual respect and interests develop. Some of the university students we work with are Kennesaw State University, GA State University, Rice University, and Georgia Tech. Our mentoring program provides each student with a trusted advisor that provides a long-term career perspective on topics selected by the student. Students and Mentors are carefully matched and meet regularly throughout the school year.
Our members utilizes their collective experience to mentor the student through their educational program into their next career phase. The programs lasts for 4-8 months and the mentors and mentees meet at least monthly during their program. Additionally mentees are invited to attend our events to meet other members. We also work with our partner university students in other capacities as we can.
“I was a very busy, career minded, focused candidate at Kennesaw State University’s Executive MBA program. Bob, my mentor, began with his powerful questions around my personal value proposition and encouraged me to build comprehensive goals for personal and professional growth. During our monthly meetings he advised me not to limit myself to where my strengths are, but to push towards where my purposeful work drives me to excel next! We regularly talked about how to adjust to life and keep a balance in Family + Purpose + Career! The viewpoint of visualizing and planning for retirement as more of succession planning was a stellar concept that Bob introduced to me. The succession planning view of retirement opened mental doors and has helped prep me to walk into multiple career facets of life while actively growing in my career, although my retirement is potentially decades away. Shortly after our mentor/mentee relationship began, I received a promotion at work and was promoted to Senior Vice President. Jennifer Benyard, Mentee 2021
“I work at the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) as the executive director of the HIT Division for HI-BRIDGE Solutions and HI-BRIDGE HIE. Earning an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) has been my goal ever since receiving my undergraduate degree from Spelman College more than 30 years ago. Before my father passed away in January 2018, I promised him I would earn that degree. In May 2020, I not only earned my Executive MBA at Kennesaw State. I graduated with a 4.0 GPA, while being recognized as a 2020 Coles Outstanding Student for the program and an invitation to join Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Society. Zahir Ladhini was my mentor and he was extremely knowledgeable and provided me with advice and innovative ideas that directly tied to the work taught in the classes focused on managing my career. He always asked me tough questions about my career and its direction. But he also made time for other aspects of my life, saying it was important to be well-rounded. He wanted to make certain my personal, financial and physical well-being were intact. He provided needed advice on my three-year plan and strategic goals. To achieve these goals, I often refer to his diagram on the “career sweet spot”. The convergence of 3 areas, 1) work that you are passionate about, 2) work that you are good at, and 3) work that does good in the world. followed his guidance and began routinely asking more questions and listening to responses in my decision making, rather than immediately providing a solution. It not only makes the team more cohesive and productive, but I bring more value as a leader. Carmen Hughes, Mentee 2020
“I recently graduated from Kennesaw State University’s Executive MBA program. One of the most important aspects of the program was meeting regularly with Mark Bachmann, who worked as a chief financial officer and could provide me with practical, real-world career advice. We met monthly to talk about my career goals and develop a strategy to move it forward. Nine months later, the honest advice I received from someone with a similar career path had a significant impact on my confidence and career outlook. Once Mark learned about my career aspirations, we set tangible goals for my career advancement. He also kept my expectations realistic and provided perspective on my outlook. He reinforced the idea that I should always be learning, asking myself, “what am I learning now and how does it add value to the organization?”. Perhaps the most valuable result of the relationship was the ability to share information with someone that could provide me with valuable advice and not worry about hurting my career. I received solid advice from a real CFO that enabled me to more easily navigate my career challenges and avoid some pitfalls. It was pragmatic information I could use in the workplace. He inspired me to aim higher. Michael Peterson, Mentee 2019