The Impact of Student Mentoring in the Business Education Setting
Can acting as a mentor be an effective learning tool for undergraduate business students? This research explores the impact of mentoring in the business education setting. Over the course of four years undergraduate students served as mentors and were paired with mentees from local high schools in collaboration with the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship. A mid-west university sponsored a series of workshops in which high school students were mentored by undergraduate business students. Data was collected from the program participants and analyzed to determine the effectiveness of cross-aged peer mentoring in the field of business education. It was observed that the undergraduate students experienced a change in perceived levels of self-confidence in general business knowledge and business plan development. On average all the students benefited from serving as a mentor, with first-generation students showing the greatest benefit. And social responsibility acting as mentors increased the college students’ perceived level of self-confidence in both first-generation college students and non-first-generation college students. The study also noted that acting as mentors increased college students’ perceived levels of social responsibility and narrowed the gap perceived levels of social responsibility between students that a prior history of volunteering within the past six months. The data showed that students who had not previously served as a volunteer experienced a greater increase in their perceived levels of social responsibility.
Keywords - Mentoring, Student Mentor, Cross-Aged Mentoring, First-Generation Students