MBA Mentoring Program
The MBA Mentoring Program at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University serves to build a strong and vibrant community of professionals engaged with the Faculty in furthering and supporting careers of its MBA graduates. With the support of Career Services, the program allows its students to engage in significant dialogue with mid-high level executives in an effort to lessen the gap between academic learning and favorable shift to the workplace.
Through a combination of networking opportunities, learning events and establishing dedicated, one-on-one mentor relationships, the MBA Mentoring Program strives toward achieving the following objectives:
- Creating networking opportunities for students with successful and influential business professionals;
- Providing an opportunity to learn inside information about a new field, especially for career changers;
- Learning from successful men and women about career management;
- Preparation for job interviews.
The MBA Mentoring Program offers an exclusive one-on-one mentoring program. This format ensures a personalized dialogue and direct feedback between the mentor and mentee. Mentors also share important insight on business and career-related issues.
Mentor pairs are matched based on both their professional and personal goals. Although most mentors are based out of Montreal, the program has several successful pairings with mentors in Toronto, New York and Paris.
How to apply
The MBA Mentoring Program is available to students entering their second year and Advanced Standing MBA students, both full- and part-time.
Interested students are required to formally apply to the program and provide a written statement describing program expectations and preferences in terms of mentorship, as well as career goals and personal aspirations. Applicants will be matched, to the best of the program's resources, with a suitable mentor.
An information session providing complete details on the program as well as the application process is offered each year.
The application process takes place in February.
Participants are required to be committed to the program and to their mentor. Below is a list of some of the program’s expectations.
- Time: Participants must commit from May through May. Pairs are expected to set goals for the mentoring relationship that will be achieved together. Pairs should communicate at least once a month, face-to-face, over the phone or via e-mail.
- Events: There are typically 3 to 4 formal events planned throughout the year. Attendance is a critical component to the success of the events and all participants are expected to attend at least 2 events per year. In order to accommodate everyone’s schedule, events are held at various times during the day.
- Feedback and Continuous Improvement: Participants are asked to complete a brief questionnaire twice throughout the year to provide feedback regarding their mentoring relationship and on the program.
Testimonials and program history
Students have found the experience to be very valuable and have confirmed that experience and chemistry are important criteria for a successful match; this is expressed below:
"The Mentoring Program is one of the best initiatives coming from the Desautels MBA program. Through the Mentoring Program, I received invaluable guidance from a highly successful and inspirational mentor, whom I deeply respect and admire. Many of my questions were answered and doubts were cleared. In addition, I also experienced first-hand, the power and value of networking, especially among the higher echelons of the corporate world. Without any doubt, it is my honour and pleasure to be involved with such a wonderful program."
Choong Lai, MBA Candidate 2010
Mentors really appreciated the opportunity to share their experience, allowing them to further establish contact with young professionals.
"The most gratifying experience for me as an MBA alumnus has been to give back to the program and especially to its future MBA alumni what I inherited from McGill. The interactions and exchanges I have had with my mentee projected me several years back and revived what I experienced. I hope to have transferred all that I found through my first steps after the MBA so my mentee could squeeze the unnecessary steps and thrive as soon as she felt ready."
Tram Nguyen, Welch Allyn, France
Directors from the community, for the community.
The MBA Mentoring Program is under the leadership of Diane Bussandri. A recognized leader in the fields of executive coaching, career management and career transition for 15 years now, Diane’s extensive experience includes service in public health and corporate marketing, advertising and sales, as well as numerous philanthropic and community initiatives.
Diane is the Chairman of Action Contre la Faim/Action Against Hunger, Canada. The mission of this international NGO is to combat malnutrition and disease-related crises in the developing world, which currently operates in 43 countries.
A member of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) since 1995, Diane served as President of IWF Canada from 1998-2000. She is presently one of two facilitators working with an international group of 20-30 IWF Fellows, who are selected by the organization’s office in Washington to receive yearlong leadership development at conferences and institutions that include Harvard and Cambridge universities.
Diane was previously a Managing Partner of Knightsbridge Bussandri Macdonald. She and her partner sold Bussandri Macdonald Groupeconseil (a company that provided such services as executive coaching, team development and career transition services) to Knightsbridge Human Capital Management in 2002.
Her undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and an M.A. from McMaster University, highly complement Diane’s professional experience.
In 2005, the Desautels MBA program celebrated its 40th anniversary. At the ceremony, surrounding this event, a group of female MBA students and alumni discussed the unique challenges and opportunities that executive women face today. Inspired MBA student, Anne Delorme, explored the possibilities of connecting these pioneering career women and alumnae with current MBA students, and thus the MBA Mentoring Program was borne.
Over the past few years, the Desautels Faculty of Management has worked to ensure its programs and initiatives offer the most relevant business education possible, particularly in terms of graduate career support and career preparation. Desautels administration and Career Services have worked in tandem to deliver a successful MBA mentoring program available to all of its MBA students. They have done so by leveraging the Faculty's strengths, connecting with over 40 years of MBA graduates, and drawn from the program’s significant reputation within the business community.
Each year, fresh new perspectives expressed by both students and mentors allow for the program to evolve. Considering their valuable input, the program is continually adapted to respond participants’ needs.
In 2009, the MBA Mentoring Program was extended to male students making the invaluable opportunity to engage with professionals available to all MBA students.