Is the Hertie School Mentoring Programme for me?

Of course! Our mentoring programme offers benefits for both students and their mentors.

Working towards a master’s degree can be an exciting time, but it’s also an uncertain one. As a master’s student, you might be asking yourself questions like “how can I kickstart my professional career” and “how can I gain professional experience”, or even “what am I going to do with this degree”. But you might not be the only one in doubt: even if you’ve already established yourself in the professional world, you might be wondering, “How can I stay in touch with trends among students, and how can I make my company an attractive employer for top graduates?” If these questions sound familiar, the Hertie School Mentoring Programme is for you!

Launched in 2017, the Hertie School’s Professional Mentoring Programme matches outstanding 1st- and 2nd-year master’s students with high-profile representatives from organisations within the private, public and third sectors over the course of one year. The goal: students and professionals learn from and inspire each other!

I’m a student with a busy courseload, and I also want to have time for my social life – why should I consider this mentorship?

As a mentee, you‘ll be paired with a professional who will support you in getting some orientation in a new phase of your life. Your mentor will offer their advice and guidance to help you achieve your educational and professional goals. They will also help you gain insight into a sector you’re interested in, as well as to expand your professional network.

“In my first semester at Hertie, everything was quite overwhelming. Getting feedback on different possible career paths and the effects of various decisions along the way from a mentor that already works in my area was tremendously helpful.” MPP student Karla Kroner

“The programme was very valuable – it mentally prepared me for many obstacles. My mentor and I have become great friends, and we constantly update each other on our progress.” MIA 2022 alumna Kritika Roy, Threat Intelligence Researcher at DCSO.

I’m a busy professional – why should I become a mentor?

As a mentor, you’ll learn about the interests, goals and values of future key players. You’ll share your experience and help a current student by discussing questions around their personal and professional development; at the same time, your mentee will give you inspiration for your work environment and ideas as to what you have to offer as an employer to attract top-level graduates. You could also learn about a field that you’re not currently active in.

“The conversations are always valuable – for me, too! If you want to be successful in the political arena, you have to learn, network, make contacts and be open-minded.” Past mentor Ness Norbert, Head of Strategic Communications and Governmental Affairs at Evonik.

Join Hertie School's Mentoring Programme!

Who can become a mentor?

We encourage all Hertie School alumni, Advisory Council members and Practice Partner employees to become a mentor.

How do you match mentors and mentees together? What are you looking for in both?

Mentors and mentees are matched based on a motivational statement by the student and the preferences of the mentor. Some mentors are flexible, while others want to mentor someone with a specific background, language skills or area of interest, such as energy. While we try to accommodate everyone, we think that both sides can benefit from the mentoring relationship, even if you are interested in different fields.

Who are the mentors this year, and what sectors and fields do they work in?

The mentors are a mix of seasoned professionals from our Practice Partners[CJ2]  and Hertie School alumni with relevant work experience. We cover all three sectors – public, private and civil society – as well as a variety of backgrounds and topics. We recruit mentors both from Germany and abroad, since we have seen how effectively you can establish a digital connection and exchange ideas over a video call. Our mentors come from the German Ministry of the Interior, Siemens, the European Commission in Berlin, the German development agency GIZ, the International Organization for Migration, Aurora Energy Research, Google, PD, Deutsche Bank and The World Bank, among others.

In what ways does the mentoring programme foster a mutual relationship between the mentor and the mentee? What do the mentors provide, and what do I have to do?

We provide guidelines to mentors and mentees to structure and manage their mentoring process. The mentoring programme begins with a September kick-off webinar, where new mentees can interact with previous participants to learn from their experiences.

After the kick-off, mentees arrange the first meeting to discuss communication methods, frequency and expectations. If it helps, you can make an official  mentoring agreement. Throughout the year, mentees are responsible for arranging subsequent meetings and preparing topics and questions, such as about life in Berlin, choosing the right electives, the German job market, the mentor's career path and networking advice. Many mentors maintain long-term relationships with their mentees. And if any issues arise, you can always contact Career Development for assistance.

Do you have questions, or would you like to join the programme as a mentor or mentee?