Technology Management Mentors Yield Measurably Positive Results

In a chapter written for the book Mentoring in Formal and Informal Contexts (Information Age Publishing, 2016), Dr. Arthur Langer, Executive Director, Innovation & Design; Senior Lecturer in Technology Management; and Interim Program Director of the Executive Master of Science in Technology Management at Columbia University, demonstrates the effectiveness of graduate mentors.

Students in the program, who aspire to become future IT executives or technology entrepreneurs, are assigned a mentor from an exclusive network of nearly 200 executives representing firms including JPMorgan, Prudential, Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, and HP. The two agree to meet monthly, usually at the mentor’s office, where the mentor guides the student through his or her Master’s Project, a specific technology solution based on the student’s area of interest. “The mentor’s wisdom and experience is critical. It is, in many ways, learning through apprenticeship,” Dr. Langer writes.

Results from the program demonstrate that “industry executives are responsible and effective mentors and the mentoring program can be integrated in a degree program using formal and informal methods to help transform students,” according to Dr. Langer. These executive mentors “provide graduate students with practical guidance and assist them to transition into executive positions as early as one year after graduation.”

Dr. Langer goes on to cite results from a recent program survey showing that 83% of graduates described their mentor relationship as a significant part of their positive experience in the program. The survey further found that, within two years, more than 93% of alumni had achieved promotions or higher-profile positions at new firms, 30% had reached a C-level or equivalent position, and 48% had launched new business ventures.

Learn more about the Executive Master of Science in Technology Management program at Columbia University.