Digitalization, transformation, new work: The new world of work needs managers who are able to drive the development of companies. Mentoring is an effective instrument for the targeted promotion of young professionals and the development of executives.

Classic or reverse: Two concepts, one success

Mentoring brings together experienced professionals and young professionals and promotes cross-generational learning. In the classic version, a senior (mentor) supports a less experienced junior (mentee) by passing on his knowledge and assisting him with questions and decisions.

In reverse mentoring, on the other hand, the roles of learner and teacher are switched. Reverse mentoring takes into account that there are gaps in competence and knowledge on both sides of the mentoring relationship, so that the mentor can also benefit from the mentee's insights," says Dr. Nicole Behringer, university lecturer for business psychology at ISM Stuttgart and head of the master's program in media and communication psychology at ISM’s distance learning program.Prof. Dr. Nicole Behringer

In mentoring, learning and development are naturally integrated into the work context.

Dr. Nicole Behringer, university lecturer for business psychology at ISM Stuttgart


Professional and personal development on both sides

The mentor's practical experience helps the mentee to develop professionally. In an individual exchange, the senior gives the junior meaningful impulses and can thus support him in his personal development by helping him to help himself. At the same time, the mentor has the opportunity to expand his or her own competencies through the mentee's expertise and gain insights into the requirements of the young generation Z. "In dialogue with their mentee, mentors learn about the current framework conditions, wishes and needs of students and can use this experience for recruiting and mentoring young leaders in the professional environment," says Dr. Nicole Behringer. The use of a mentoring program thus simultaneously promotes the innovative capacity of companies and helps them to position themselves successfully in times of digital change.

It was extremely helpful and invaluable to me. Most of all, it’s great to have a professional call on with a variety of queries from career development to how to prioritize my workload. He brought balanced perspectives, much needed insight, and has made me push much harder to work further. Since I am from India, my perspective towards job application and the whole process was a bit different when compared to how things worked over here. His professional advice has helped me throughout the process.

Jennifer Jesu Rajendran, Master’s student in finance & mentee in the ISM Mentoring Program


What makes a good mentor mentee relationship

Trusting interaction between mentor and mentee is important for successful mentoring. Both parties must be able to communicate openly with each other and rely on each other. "In addition to a certain openness and curiosity, the willingness to invest some time and genuine motivation is important. It's about an exchange at eye level and a mutual willingness to learn and discuss," says Dr. Nicole Behringer, who as a learning coach is passionate about developing learning formats that are fun and inspiring.

This is why the ISM Mentoring Program is worthwhile

The ISM Mentoring Program combines classic and reverse mentoring and helps ISM students and ISM alumni to expand their professional network. Through the alumni's testimonials, students get a good idea of the practical working world and, in exchange with their mentors, can get tips on career planning, job applications or salary negotiations. The program offers alumni the opportunity to re-enter the university world and attract young talent to their company.

  • More than 220 ISM mentoring teams have been formed since 2018
  • More than 70 active mentors supported mentees in the winter semester 2021/2022
  • On average, two mentees benefited from the experience of one mentorMax Rossdeutscher

During and after my studies, I was lucky enough to have one or more competent mentors by my side. Their extensive experience and valuable feedback helped me to develop faster and find my own way. That's exactly what I want to give back to the next generation of students now: Helping them find their passion, and have fun and success along the way.

Max Rossdeutscher, Enterprise Account Executive at Amazon Web Services and mentor in the ISM Mentoring Program


The ISM Mentoring Program starts a new round

In the fall term, students will once again be assisted by many old and new mentors who will share their experiences and seek insights into the world of young professionals. You would like to benefit from the ISM Mentoring Program as a mentor or mentee? Registration is possible for alumni from October 10th, 2022 via the alumni platform. Students can also apply on the alumni platform from October 24th, 2022.

Bilder: Christina @ (Unsplash), privat

Vera Schulte

Vera Schulte

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