“I remember being a student and feeling separated from the business community. If I had this opportunity it would have been amazing. Going into the project, my expectations were that I’d spend some time with a student and share some of my experience in business; how I got started, how I use my business education in daily operations, what challenges I faced and how I overcame them… My experience as a mentor garnered all of the above and more. I think this is a great way to give back to the school that launched me on my career path.”
The purpose of the Global Leaders of Tomorrow mentorship program is to connect top business students with working professionals, sparking imagination, fostering community connections and building intercultural intelligence. The collaborative mentorship program, launched in the fall of 2014, forged strong connections between NIC business students and Comox Valley business leaders. The successful pilot project was established in partnership between the NIC School of Business and the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Student mentees meet with mentors in the business community from October to March, developing a personalized plan with a time commitment of six meetings or six hours minimum over the mentorship period. While mentees build networking skills and gain valuable business contacts, mentors have the opportunity to share their own knowledge and experience with a new generation of business leaders while tapping in to the students’ theoretical knowledge of current business trends.
The Global Leaders of Tomorrow mentorship project was started by funding by NIC’s Global Engagement Fund which provides up to $5,000 per project to foster awareness of global issues.
In 2014-2015 five students participated in this pilot project, (two international students and three domestic students) connecting with business leaders through one-on-one mentorship and invitations to community-wide networking events. The first year was a great success and the program was expanded in 2015- 2016, increasing the number of mentors and student participants. Students learned how to professionally exchange knowledge with mentors on many different subjects. NIC faculty created new connections with industry partners and the Chamber of Commerce strengthened their connection to future business leaders.
The Global Leaders of Tomorrow project brings together faculty, students, and business leaders in a collaborative exchange of global knowledge that has developed and strengthened intercultural relationships. Students and mentors work together to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, engaging in dynamic discussions related to new business trends and developments taking place domestically and internationally.
“The program brought together faculty, students and various local professionals in positive relationships built on collaboration which helped to pool global knowledge among all participants and also developed leadership qualities among the participating students.”
“I was able to meet so many amazing people in different industries. It really opened my eyes to all the amazing things I could be doing. And it was really wonderful to see how my mentor utilizes her education on a daily basis. Not only was I coming to her with things I wanted insight on. She was coming to me.”
Anita Budisa-Bonneau, NIC Coordinator, Work Integrated Education, Student Services
Phone 250-334-5007, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ali Mayboudi, NIC Department Chair, Business Administration
Phone 250-334-5209, email Ali.Mayboudi@nic.bc.ca
Dianne Hawkins, CEO, Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce
Phone: 250-334-3234, email email@example.com