I’m interviewed in an article today by Menachem Wecker for the US News & World Report. In it he discussed several challenges to developing effective mentoring relationships while pursuing an online MBA degree.
Mentors, who have their feet firmly planted in industry, can provide practical advice that supplements what MBA students are learning inbusiness school. But the mentorship relationship can get controversial and more complicated when it comes to online MBA students, some experts say.
Some MBA faculty and students view digital mentors almost like invisible friends, which are unlikely to yield fruitful interactions, while others notice unique opportunities when mentors communicate with business students online.
Here are some of the thoughts I shared with Mr. Wecker during my interview:
Interacting with mentors online can be convenient for b-school students, according to Aneil Mishra.
Digital communication tools, particularly LinkedIn, help Mishra stay in touch with the many students from overseas that he coaches, he says, but he recommends a hybrid approach, where there is some face-to-face interaction for trust building amid the communication via social media and digital tools. Sometimes, that may mean making more of an effort to go to events or to network in person in other ways.
“If you’re attending a pure online degree [program] or have limited face-to-face connections with your peers and professors, it’s more beholden to you to join professional associations,” he says.