New business mentorship program a collaboration between KPU, RCC & Vancity

Thu, Feb 1, 2018

Behind most great career success stories stands a great mentor.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) School of Business, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce (RCC) and Vancity credit union believe in the power of mentorship and are working together to launch a new program focusing on mentoring budding entrepreneurs.

The three community partners signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday, solidifying their commitment to the business community and students.

“What’s really exciting about this new mentorship program goes beyond the opportunities for our students,” said Dean of KPU’s School of Business Wayne Tebb. “It’s also a great opportunity for personal and professional growth for mentors. Students often bring enthusiasm and fresh thinking to business practices.”

The Power of Mentorship program is an interactive and educational opportunity for third-year KPU business students to foster personal and career development through engagement with working professionals who are members of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.

“Early in my term as chair, our board committed to engaging young professionals,” said Richmond Chamber of Commerce Chair Rob Akimow. “Since then, we have engaged key stakeholders and the staff have worked hard with our program partners to see this through. I am very proud to see the historic launch of this legacy mentorship program. I look forward to seeing this initiative build and flourish in the years to come.”

The one-year program is built around regular mentorship interactions and networking events kicking off with a meet and greet in May. Business students interested in the program and in their third year of study at KPU, will have from the end of February to March to apply. Students and mentors will be matched based on mutual interests and business focus. 

Mentors will provide mentees with valuable resources and skills such as networking, building professional relationships and heighten self-awareness within a business context. Mentors offer enhancement to academic learning and constructive examples of how to put learning into practice. They serve as role models and advocates to students by offering advice and experience about the working world. This relationship will help to strengthen the next generation of potential entrepreneurs. Mentors and mentees will be provided with a support person from KPU, Richmond Chamber Commerce or Vancity.

“Vancity is proud to support a program that fosters meaningful relationships between student entrepreneurs and experienced mentors. Connections like these can be lifelong and mutually beneficial. We look forward to watching this program thrive in our community,” said Vancity Blundell Centre Community Branch Manager Angela Lam.

The mentorship program is an opportunity for KPU’s students to foster personal and career development through dedicated discussions with someone with business experience. The relationship-building between mentees and mentors within the broader professional community not only supports a business student’s growth, but the growth and improvement of the entire business sector.

Photos from the MOU signing on Wednesday, Jan. 31 are available for download on Flickr.

Story by Tatiana Tomljanovic