Professional Mentoring Project at USI: assessing the first year of activity
Institutional Communication Service
23 June 2021
The first Professional Mentoring programme, organised by the Career Service and the Equal Opportunities Service in collaboration with the BPW (Business and Professional Women) Ticino association, concludes at the end of the semester, after the exam session. The programme is addressed primarily at female students enrolled in the second year of the Masters in Finance and Informatics. It aims to ease the entry of future USI graduates into the world of work through a series of one-to-one meetings with professionals active in Southern Switzerland who offer to share their experiences and skills to promote the personal and professional growth of the students.
Professor Sonja Hildebrand, Pro-Rector for Research in the Humanities and Equal Opportunities, comments: "Mentoring is an effective tool to support young women at the beginning of their professional career. An academic mentoring programme for PhD students and post-doctoral researchers has existed at USI for many years. I am thrilled that this opportunity is now also available to undergraduates in Master's programmes. By embarking on a Mentoring programme, Mentees not only have privileged access to the knowledge and experience of an affirmed professional, but they also find a positive role model who can be a source of inspiration and encouragement in their careers. This is very important, especially (but not only) when looking for employment in fields with low female representation. And -last but not least- mentors enter the professional network of female students. As proof of this, all 28 Mentees who took part in this first edition stated that, even once the programme is over, they will continue to keep in touch with their Mentor."
"BPW Ticino is the world's largest association of professionally active women" explains the BPW Professional Mentoring committee, "among its goals is to act to further gender equality in the working world. Mentoring is one of the most effective tools for achieving this goal. Support and accompany young women in their career and professional choices is undoubtedly an essential step towards a more significant presence of women at all professional levels".
The project was launched by BPW Ticino and USI. This collaboration has allowed the 21 Mentors to share their professional and personal experiences with USI students. The Mentors, active in different professional fields, said they were very satisfied with the relationship they have built, also on a personal level, with the Mentees. Many of them are ready to continue this experience during the academic year 2021-2022. "It is a source of great pride and satisfaction for BPW Ticino to have contributed to the growth of young female students."
To wrap up this first year, the Career and the Equal Opportunities Service, together with BPW, will organise on 28 September, at 6 pm, on the new East Campus, a final encounter with all the BPW Mentees and Mentors, featuring the BPW Co-presidents, Laura Incandela and Monica Pugnaloni, and the USI Pro-rector, Sonja Hildebrand.
The second-year will start at the beginning of October. Applications will be open to female students in their second year of USI Master's programmes. The Mentoring will begin in November 2021 and will end in April/May 2022.