The 5 Grad Schools With the Most Opportunities for Mentorship
Connecting with established professionals is a critical step for any entrepreneur looking to get a business off the ground. Here are the schools that offer the largest number of mentorship programs.
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Access to professionals succeeding in their fields is vital for students of entrepreneurship, both in and out of the classroom.
These five schools offer the highest number of mentorship programs from among our cohort of entrepreneurship graduate programs.
1. Temple University (Philadelphia, PA)
Entrepreneurs, senior executives and investors from Philadelphia and the mid-Atlantic region with a wealth of experience in numerous industries, and expertise in a multitude of disciplines, consult one-on-one with students, faculty and alumni who are starting entrepreneurial ventures. Through the Distinguished Leaders in Residence program, an elite group of highly successful entrepreneurs, senior executives and CEOs provide several hours of free coaching and consulting services to the constituency on campus each month. Past Distinguished Leaders in Residence include Chris Rabb, Social Entrepreneur in Residence and author of Invisible Capital; Ellen Weber, Angel in Residence and Managing Director of Robin Hood Ventures; Glen Gaddy, Serial Entrepreneur and Strategy Executive in Residence; Ted LeBow, Financial Executive in Residence and CEO of JRI Consulting; and Lisa Peskin, Sales Executive in Residence, Founder and CEO of Business Development University.
2. University of Missouri—Kansas City (Kansas City, MO)
The Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is home to an Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program, through which students can meet one-on-one with one of sixteen mentors in a variety of fields. These fields include: Branding/Marketing, Capital Resources, Consumer Products, Finance/Accounting, Financial Services, Information Technology, Intellectual Property, Media/Entertainment, Operations/Production, Petroleum/Energy, Sales, Start-Up, Start-Up Law, and Strategy/Planning. Each mentor's schedule and detailed bio is available online, giving students the opportunity to choose the best mentor for their projects and pursuits.
3. Brigham Young University (Provo, UT)
BYU's Venture Mentoring Services is the largest university mentoring program in the world, and is comprised of more than 200 committed mentors. Student teams, as they form, are mentored on a weekly basis to help the fledgling startup make weekly progress, understand next steps, connect to potential partners or other mentors, etc. VMS facilitates the relationship between student venture and carefully vetted entrepreneurs and business leaders within the network best suited to help the team progress. Both the student and the mentor are required to enter into specific agreements, and to achieve certain milestones in order to participate.
4. University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
University of Michigan provides mentorship through a variety of programs and business plan competitions. "Ask An Entrepreneur" invites students to meet one-on-one with highly regarded entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas, gain advice, and create connections. The Business Development Workshop Series addresses everything from ideation development, refining a business pitch, marketing analysis, financial structure, writing a business plan, and building a team. Through the Weather Underground Startup Trek, students also have a chance to travel to San Francisco, where they pitch to venture capital firms and connect with entrepreneurs.
5. University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
UW business students have access to mentors through a post-graduate accelerator, an angel investing course, and the MBA Mentor Program. Through the latter program over 90 percent of MBAs engage in on-site visits and small group mentoring with executives. Students explore career paths, obtain an inside view of industries, learn how executives meet difficult challenges, and gain insight into corporate strategy. The school also offers mentorship-on-demand through its MentorConnect program, and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with office hours available for student meetings.