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International Journal of Business and Management Studies

Yıl 2011 , Cilt 3 , Sayı 1

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Başlık :

Gender differences in perceptions of the role of industry mentors in undergraduate student mentorship program

Yazar kurumları :
Framingham State University Department of Economics and Business Administration1, Framingham State University Psychology and Philosophy Department2
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Özet Türkçe :

Framingham State University is located outside Boston, Massachusetts in the US; it offers liberal arts and sciences programs as well as professional education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. A pilot undergraduate mentorship program invited local industry professionals to campus to mentor undergraduate students. The experiences of participants in the pilot program appear to reveal differences in expectations about the benefits of the program and the functions of the industry mentors. The mentoring process at the university level includes three constituencies: university students, academic professionals and industry professionals. A preliminary review of the literature suggests mentor functions can fall into two categories: providing emotional support (encouragement) and facilitating career development. Based upon additional information derived from student focus groups and piloting interviews, the perception of the functions of industry mentors in an undergraduate mentor program was assessed. Data were collected using a survey that addressed three categories of mentor functions: (1) preparing students for the job search (e.g., providing insight into specific jobs, advising about interviewing and resumes), (2) providing emotional support (encouragement) and (3) modeling professional behavior or skills (e.g., communication skills). The data from surveys were compared across the three groups (students, faculty and staff, and industry professionals) and by gender groups. Results suggest differences in expectations of mentor roles held by women as compared to those held by men. In addition, results suggested that students may have different mentoring expectations than academic faculty. These findings are discussed in light of the needs for female undergraduate mentoring experiences for students majoring in business, and the mismatch of student and faculty perceptions in undergraduate business programs.

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