The BMO Mentorship Program at the Haskayne School of Business experiences strong growth in the 2020-21 academic year
The BMO Mentorship Program is entering its eighteenth year and with the generous donation from BMO, the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership continues to evolve and expand the program. This year the program has grown in a number of ways:
- We took the program virtual and welcomed mentors from all geographical locations.
- We reopened mentee applications this Fall to provide more opportunities for students to connect with the business community and had an overwhelming response, welcoming 300 students as mentees to the program this year.
- We sharpened our focus on developing mentors’ and mentees’ leadership capabilities through seven specially designed micro-leadership sessions providing access to impactful evidence-based leadership development content to discuss during their mentoring relationships.
Over the summer, the CCAL Operations Team, CCAL Research Team, and CCAL fellow Dr Cari Din, developed micro-leadership sessions mentors and mentees can integrate with their own lived experiences to spark conversations about leadership and develop their leadership capabilities while diving into their mentoring relationships.
In addition, the Kick-off event for the 2020/2021 mentorship program included an energizing workshop facilitated by Dr. Din and produced by the CCAL Operations Team focused on initiating mentoring relationships and leadership conversations. Mentors and mentees had the opportunity to virtually connect with each other during breakout discussion times that happened throughout the session. Dr. Din created a dialogue about leadership between mentor and mentee with enthusiasm, energy and leadership theory.
Many left the Kick-off feeling energized and excited about the year ahead. A few takeaways from participants include:
- Leadership is complex but it’s about people and how those people respond or care about each other.
- How aspects of transformational leadership can lend itself to creating a stronger mentoring relationship.
- Much of what you learn through mentorship comes from within, you just need others to point out shared experience and insights you are blind to.
Participants really enjoyed the chance to connect one-on-one with their mentor/mentee or with others in the program through the breakout rooms. It was a dynamic kick-off that was packed with learning, reflecting and connecting!
As we continue to evolve the program, we are very grateful and would like to extend a special thank you to our mentors – returning and new – this program would not be what it is without your commitment to our students. Thank you for providing a space for them to connect with individuals outside of the classroom. This connection, which is critical in today’s circumstances, is also why we want to continue to grow and expand the program. If you are interested in joining us as mentor, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the new mentoring season begins, we are excited by the interest in this year’s mentorship program, as we know mentoring relationships have a significant role to play in helping business graduates develop their leadership capabilities to help them steer into their future.