Message from the Director
It is my pleasure to follow Harold Taber, program founder of the Biola MBA mentor program, in the role of director. I have 34 years of corporate experience, have been an MBA mentor since 2007 and now have the privilege of continuing the mentor tradition at the Crowell School of Business. Not only does each student receive a “rock solid” MBA from the Crowell School of Business, they also have the advantage of engaging with a proven Christian business leader in a relationship that allows them to develop in all areas of their lives.
— Bob Curtis
How Would I Define Mentoring?
Mentoring in the workplace is the process of helping a person/protégé develop their God-given talents within a company. To be truly successful, mentoring should be part of a company's management philosophy, where the CEO is mentoring senior level executives, all the senior level executives are mentoring people below them, etc.
Biola's MBA mentoring program is a little different than in a business. This mentoring is about being available to the student, being able to educate them about what really goes on at the executive level. The three-legged stool is used a lot in education: great professors and classroom experiences, outside reading and lectures, and the peer relationships. I would like to add a fourth leg: executive mentoring of the MBA student. Just as a fourth leg adds stability and strength to the stool, the mentoring component will do the same for Biola's MBA program.
Why Do I Feel Mentoring is Important?
Mentors establish a mentoring relationship and friendship with their mentees, and the power of friendship and mentoring is key for doing business God’s way. In my career I was repeatedly being tugged between my role as a Christian and businessperson and was separating the sacred from the secular. As I tried to be more Christ-like and less self-centered, standing in the gap for my beliefs in a large public company was a difficult challenge in the secular world. My Christian business mentors were a critical resource for me to be able to do that.
Some folks are going to school to get knowledge, not just a degree. They want to learn how to integrate at-work experience with knowledge and information. We want to show our students how to do this, create wisdom, and how to apply that wisdom in a real life situation. Providing a mentoring relationship in the MBA program helps us accomplish that goal.
Mentoring is a life-long process and the Biola MBA mentoring relationship is designed to last beyond the MBA program. It helps to provide a working model of doing business God's way by integrating keen business perspective and a biblical worldview.
Is Biola's MBA Mentor Program Unique?
For the MBA programs I am familiar with, the mentoring program is a very unique and distinctive part of the MBA at Biola University. It is important because it brings practicality and reality to theory and I think that is missing in many other MBA programs.
For a Christian businessperson success means more than just getting ahead. One thing I have found is that people respect you when you have an ethical base, when you make decisions that are morally sound. Frankly that is what attracts me to Biola's MBA program, because that is what we are trying to provide our MBA students: a biblical and ethical base to make decisions that are morally sound. And the mentor will help provide the requisite real-world examples and perspective that is so important in learning.>
Who Can Be a Biola MBA Mentor?
All mentors have to run a division or own their own company large enough to have departments with key managers.
One of the most important aspects will be the modeling and demonstrating of servant leadership, something that I am very keen on in today's workplace. Autocratic management just doesn't fly anymore. Management needs to flip the organization chart upside down and serve internal customers (employees) as well as the external customer.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please view and complete our Mentor Program Application: