Mentoring at Foster

Leadership is a must have trait for all MBA students, but leadership development opportunities are scarce for most students in their pre-MBA careers. Foster aims to fill this gap with a mix of classroom teaching and practical opportunities for leadership development and mentorship. Mentoring is a large part of leadership and also a big part of the Foster culture. There are plenty of avenues for students to become mentors and mentees. From formal mentoring programs, such as Fritzky Leadership Fellows and the executive mentor program, to informal mentoring from second years, Foster has something for everyone. 

Having recently walked in the shoes of the first year students, second year students are very often the best resources to help incoming Full-Time MBA students navigate the myriad recruiting, social, and academic obligations. Under the Fritzky Leadership Fellows program, first year students in the Full-Time MBA program are assigned mentors from the second year. The second year mentors are chosen after a rigorous selection process and formally trained in leadership and mentoring. This training ensures that the leadership fellows are able to adjust their mentoring style to suit their mentees. The beauty of the Fritzky program is that it gives first year students a valuable resource to aid their transition into the program while giving second year mentors practical opportunities to develop their leadership skills. 

According to Ezra Tilaye, Foster Full Time MBA, Class of 2022:

Photo of Ezra Tilaye, Foster Full Time MBA, Class of 2022

Ezra Tilaye, Foster Full Time MBA, Class of 2022

”The Fritzky Fellowship program has allowed me the opportunity to truly learn and develop skills to become a strategic leader. The way that the program has been developed, from our Fritzky Development Week, to working with and developing relationships with the first-year MBAs, it has all been invaluable to helping me fine tune my skills as a leader. I didn’t know the true value of what I would be getting out of the Fritzky program until I was actually in it, and I am fortunate to have been selected into the cohort.”

The Foster Evening MBA has its own peer mentoring program. The program is intended to assist first-year students’ transition to life at Foster. Peer Mentors are expected to be a resource for incoming students, and in partnership with the MBA Programs Office, aid in their success and academic and professional development.

According to Anthony Chang, Foster Evening MBA, Class of 2022:

A photo of Anthony Chang, Foster Evening MBA, Class of 2022

Anthony Chang, Foster Evening MBA, Class of 2022

“The peer mentorship program has been such a huge part of my experience at Foster. My mentor Ty (’21) made me feel so welcome, and his guidance made transitioning back into being a student so smooth. I wanted to welcome other students in the same manner, and am grateful to now have worked with two different groups in the ’23 and ’24 classes. It is my firm belief that the Evening program is as rich an experience as we make it, and that community and memories made outside the classroom are just as important as what’s taught in it. Peer mentorship is an amazing way to give back and get connected with new students; it is, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had at Foster.”

Foster also has an executive mentor program where experienced industry professionals volunteer their time to mentor Full-Time and Evening MBA students. MBA students can bid for their choice of mentor and groups of 5-6 students are assigned to any one mentor. The groups meet with their mentors at least 6-7 times during the calendar year. Students get a chance to build relationships with industry professionals while also learning from their mentors’ experiences. Mentors, on the other hand, gain fresh perspectives that Foster MBA students bring to the table. These relationships allow students and mentors to expand their professional networks, and they often last much longer than the formal duration of the program–at times leading to lifelong friendships. 

Foster is a very student-driven school where the second and third year students take the lead in a lot of different ways. All clubs are student-led. Second and third year students spend a lot of time coaching first year students in recruiting related activities. Clubs, such as the Foster Tech Club and Foster Consulting Society, hold interview bootcamps, case competitions, and industry info sessions. These events give senior students a chance to give back to the Foster community while first years are inspired to do the same the year after. This creates a virtuous cycle in which each class does its utmost to help the class following them. Groups such as pub-club and weekly pick up games for basketball and soccer are more informal but equally important mediums for building connections between students from different batches.

To conclude, mentorship at Foster is the perfect illustration of a win-win situation. Both the mentor and mentees accelerate their learnings, gain new perspectives, and build lasting connections!

To learn more about the Foster community, please reach out to our Student Ambassadors or Admissions Team.