The Institute of Economic Studies FSV UK provides its students with a very good background in theoretical economics, hand in hand with analytical and quantitative skills and applied mathematics and statistics. We would like to give our students an opportunity to examine their skills and theoretical knowledge in practice, and to gain extra experience in “soft skills”. A traditional job is not the only way to reach this. It is always important to establish a contact with somebody who is interested in the student’s development and who can transmit some important “know-how” of a particular branch of the business. Students also usually need somebody who can help them in their decision-making, showing them the right path and giving them the much-needed confidence.
We would like to bring „Mentoring” to the IES as another opportunity to improve yourself so that you can tackle the challenges; explore the opportunities to find out how things work in practice and to gain some important contacts.
The principles of Mentoring
In Greek mythology, Mentor was placed by Ulysses in charge of his son Telemachus, and of Odysseus' palace, when Ulysses left for the Trojan War. We are also looking for advisors and teachers for talented and motivated students. The purpose of the mentoring is to help our students with clear goals to reach their targets.
The principle is not complicated, the more experienced and generally older person - Mentor - helps the younger person - Mentee - with personal development, with gaining experience and with the formulation of objectives and values. Mentoring is not only pragmatic, but also a personal relationship between two people over a longer time period. The topic of their discussions is ,except current problems, also the long-term plans for the future development and reaching targets.
The Mentor discusses potential objectives with the student, and proposes the steps necessary to reach them. The Mentor advises to the Mentee how to choose the proper career path. He shows the new opportunities, provides the information which may help the student reach the new horizon and supports them in their ideas. If possible, the Mentor arranges professional contacts and passes down his own experience gained by the practice.
The benefits for the students:
• Obtaining new experience
• Contact with a professional, who has experience
• Insight into the particular business sector
• New professional contacts
• Possibility of counseling with the choosing of the subjects suitable for a particular position
• Advice concerning the final thesis, particularly the topic of it
• In a nutshell, the Mentor provides the recommendation covering the possible career path, life goals and encouragement.
• It lasts from February to May, or from October to December.
The obligations of the Mentor:
• Introductory meeting with a student
• E-mail correspondence in the course of semester and in some cases other meetings – it depends on the agreement and the willingness of the Mentor
• Final meeting with the student
The obligations of the Mentee
• CV and cover letter containing the information about possible outcomes of the mentoring, expectations, goals and what are the major fields of a Mentee
• Mentee will have to deliver a report to the career advisor containing “status” , and his own evaluation after the termination of the mentoring
• Preparation of the questions, potential objectives and what he would like to reach before each meeting
The first round of our Mentoring project successfully finished (30. 6. 2015)
We have terminated the first round of the Mentoring project. There were 7 students of Bachelor and Master degree who were mentored by the professionalsin this summer semester. The first reactions of both Mentors and Mentees were very positive and we are very glad to be the intermediary bringing them into the contact.
The professionals from the companies like BCG, GE Money Bank, Magnitude Capital, LLC, McKinsey or Wüstenrot assessed their cooperation with our mentees truly positively. We chose the companies and their representatives in order to fulfill the students expectations and according to their cover letters. The majority of mentors agreed that this experience was enriching for both sides and they will continue mentoring in the future. “It is refreshing to see what questions are solved by a completely different generation to mine.”, commented Jan Popelka from Direct people, private company dealing with innovations.
We are very pleased that this project was warmly accepted by the mentees as well. Jan Krepl summed it up clearly: “Mentoring was 110 % beneficial.” Or, as Pavel Růžek add: “My participation at this project was a very positive experience and I think that this program and similar opportunities should exist for our students also in the future.”