Debra Hauptman, MBA

Debra Hauptman

Mentor, Mentors in Business Program

What does mentorship mean to you?

It means to share knowledge from one’s business and professional practices and experiences to broaden a business student’s knowledge and enhance her preparation for future leadership roles.

What motivated you to become a Mentors in Business (MIB) mentor?

I have hired and worked with students for many years and have found the experience to be personally rewarding. I was fortunate to have had many positive role models in my personal and professional life and my relationship with them was helpful for identifying goals and developing confidence in my leadership abilities. I hope that this mentoring experience will help Rafaela achieve her career goals and her aspiration to become a leader, as I believe she has the potential.

Describe the Mentors in Business experience.

We meet face-to-face once per month usually over a meal. Rafaela is interested in working in the non-profit sector and does volunteer work in this area, so she took the initiative to schedule one of our recent meetings at my workplace and got a tour of our healthcare facility.

I already know that I am passionate about my work and therefore can talk too much! So I have concentrated on encouraging Rafaela to identify the objectives for our meetings and to ensure that we meet those objectives. There is usually time left for a more social visit and I have learned about her independence and her responsibilities as an international student. I am very impressed with her maturity and personal capacity to manage much more responsibility than certainly our society would expect of a 2nd year university student.

How do you feel you have helped your mentee?

By encouraging her to believe in her abilities and potential and by reminding her and providing evidence that the female perspective in business is in demand in today’s workplaces. Women in leadership roles generally have a more collaborative leadership style and are effective at consensus building and creating networks.

Rafaela has enthusiasm and aptitude for quantitative knowledge paired with an outgoing and caring personality; we have discussed how she can leverage these qualities to work on the business/operations side in non-profit organizations and still satisfy her personal desire to make a contribution in human services.

What advice would you give to industry professionals who may be considering becoming a mentor?

Just do it! It is a minimal investment of time, and the outcome could be to influence one of the future leaders in your industry.

Interested in becoming a mentor? Visit our Mentors in Business page or contact mentorsinbusiness@sfu.ca for more information.