Mentors in Business

The SFU Beedie School of Business' Mentors in Business program aims to bridge the knowledge gap between our students' excellent academic foundation and the realities of a life in business. The program provides a platform for working professionals to share insights, experience and knowledge that will inspire and motivate students embarking on their career search. Our goal is to:

  • Develop knowledge of business etiquette, communication and culture
  • Enhance access to market intelligence on the target industry, its growth and opportunities
  • Provide insider perspective on the work requirements and lifestyle of the target industry
  • Deepen understanding of the target industry enabling students to move forward with greater confidence toward long-term goals

In the Mentors in Business program, Beedie students, at both the graduate and undergraduate level, connect with individuals from the business community in their areas of career interest in order to make better-informed career choices and expand their understanding of a target industry. Recent cohorts have involved between around 150 pairs per term.

Time commitment: 10-15 hours over the course of the six-month program (January to June or June to December)

Meet your student for a minimum of one hour per month and attend four optional networking events in downtown Vancouver. Mentees should be prepared to spend additional time doing research, developing their resume, attending industry functions, etc., as part of the work assigned by the mentor.

Login to (or create) your Beedie Community account to access the mentor registration form.

Business Majors, at Graduate and Undergrad levels

Mentees are all Business Majors, currently in a range of programs at SFU Beedie School of Business. Most undergrads are in third or fourth year of the BBA program and the rest come from the graduate level. The cohort can include students from:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration (part-time or full time)
  • Master of Science Finance
  • Executive MBA
  • Management of Technology MBA

Exploration, Expertise, Engagement

Mentors are asked to engage with students at the student's level, as the starting point. Some mentees will be taking a serious look at their career choices for the first time. This may mean they need support in exploring, self-reflecting and assessing their fit for their tentative goals. Other mentees will be very clear and focused on specific goals and the skills required to achieve these, and need to tap into your expertise to enhance their employability. Still, other students will be in the process of engaging with the Canadian business culture and work environment for the first time and will need support to understand how we do things here and what will be expected of them. We find that a mentor/mentee relationship is an excellent way to move students forward at all levels of development.

Mentors come from all industries and job functions. We ask that mentors have at least three years' professional experience to be able to offer the perspective of a working professional to students. Mentors may be anywhere along their career path, and each cohort includes both working and retired business leaders with the capacity to offer guidance to our more senior students.

The mix of students and their career focus changes with each cohort, so we cannot guarantee a match every session. That said, we usually find a match for almost all our volunteer mentors and make a special effort to find the best fit for a solid mentoring relationship.

The following are key criteria for a good match:

  • Good at evaluating the mentee's overall employability and identifying strengths and weaknesses.
  • Having knowledge of the industry category and functional roles within that industry.
  • Having time to meet regularly and provide feedback which the student can use to clarify their choices in the future and while at school.
  • Willing to speak candidly about mentee weaknesses and make positive suggestions for solutions.
  • Able to share general insider knowledge about the culture and lifestyle of the industry and functional role in question.
  • Willing to explore mentee potential as an unbiased sounding board.

Login to (or create) your Beedie Community account to access the mentor registration form.

My key lessons from the program were learning how to effectively frame and structure a problem or situation, manage a tight schedule, know what to prioritize and how to prioritize it, and identify core problems quickly and addressing them.

Bobby Dhillon, EMBA

Senior Vice President, Marketing & Planning

G&F Financial Group

I always saw myself working beyond clinical pharmacy. I felt that I could also shine on the business side of healthcare. I knew that with my strong clinical training an MBA would help open more doors and give me the mobility I was looking for in my career.

Morenike Akinyemi, FT MBA

Senior Project Manager, Transformation Delivery

Provincial Health Services Authority

The Part-Time MBA was excellent. It gave me exactly what I expected to receive, and I think that is the highest compliment you can pay a program. It met all my expectations and provided a solid grounding in business skills and strategies.

Oliver Zihlmann, PT MBA

Director of Development and Alumni Engagement

UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

The comprehensive simulations provided the greatest learning for me. They helped change my mindset and connect the different areas of learning into a comprehensive view of how an organization runs.

Matthew Grunert, MOT MBA

Sr. Director, Digital Operations & IT

Motorola Solutions

The MSc Finance program gave me the technical foundation that I couldn’t function without. I work with clients in very senior roles, and it’s important to demonstrate your technical knowledge to gain their trust.

Christine Jakshoej, MScFin

Head of Professional Services America

FINCAD

The immediate impact of the GDBA has been a change in the way I approach my day professionally. I am equipped to make better decisions. My confidence level has been elevated significantly, and I am enjoying a new sense of optimism in my career.

Percival Chang, GDBA

Manager & Investment Funds Advisor

PH&N Investment Services

The i2I program is perfect for people like me who are deeply involved in science, and who want to look for opportunities in the business world. A program like this opens your mind and teaches you that there is another world of possibilities outside of the lab.

Elena Groppa, i2I

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Faculty of Medicine

University of British Columbia Biomedical Research Centre

EMBA: Bobbie

FT MBA: Morenike

PT MBA: Oliver

MOT MBA: Matt

MSc Fin: Christine

GDBA: Percival

i2I: Elena