Milgard Women’s Initiative Launches Mentorship Program

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As autumn quarter 2019 began, the Milgard Women’s Initiative (MWI) launched the inaugural year of the mentorship program. 22 graduate students from the MBA and MSBA programs were individually matched with mentors from the South Sound area and met for an orientation dinner at Pacific Grill Event Center.

In order to participate, students submitted applications stating their background and career plans, as well as their hopes and goals for the mentorship. The mentors were recruited from the network of successful and influential women known personally by the Council of Directors of the MWI. The keynote speaker for the orientation dinner was Debrena Jackson Gandy. The students and mentors were welcomed by Interim Dean Altaf Merchant, Milgard Executive Council Chair Larry Kopp, and MWI Council member Sara Kendall who played a key role in matching the students with the mentors. 



The mission of the MWI is to advocate for all women and, in collaboration with people around the world, to engage women as creative and innovative leaders throughout their organizations and communities. The mentorship program is an opportunity for male or female students to partner with a senior female professional in the South Sound community to share experience and wisdom. 

The mentorship program features group networking sessions such as the orientation dinner, as well as monthly one-on-one meetings. A curriculum of suggested readings and discussion prompts is provided to the participants, giving them three themes to work through during the academic year. The themes are leading through influence, communication differences between men and women, and giving and receiving feedback.

Candid of Milgard staff and MBA student Ellen Hermansen

Mentor and mentee

Written by: 
Shane Benoit / Sally Deck / October 9, 2019
Photos by: 
Shane Benoit
Media contact: 

Shane Benoit