Mentoren-Programm Master

The Mentoring Programme of HSBA


Benefit from experienced managers: expand your network, cope better with professional challenges and develop your personality.

Mentoring Programme

Postgraduate students get the chance to be matched with mentors from the Hamburg business community, acting as sparring partners/ role models.

The HSBA master’s students have the opportunity to take part in the mentoring programme which experienced executives from Hamburg offer them. Within the framework of the mentoring programme, students can ask questions concerning their current professional background, the reconciliation of work and family life or questions on their personal development. Furthermore, students can expand their network through contact to their mentor or other mentors and make valuable contacts for the future.

All participants are prepared for their role as either mentor or mentee in workshops and regular exchanges during the many different events make for a vibrant programme.

Details on the Mentoring Programme

Mentors Generally owners or top-level executives from companies in the metropolitan area of Hamburg
Meetings Regularly; cycle is determined on an individual basis
Benefits Benefit from the experiences of the mentors and receive open feedback
Aim Expand the network, cope with professional challenges better and develop the personality

Cooperations partners of the Mentoring programme

HSBA cooperates with the  Versammlung Ehrbarer Kaufleute zu Hamburg e.V. (VEEK) since 2009. The VEEK is the largest value-oriented association in Germany with around 1,200 personal members. The VEEK embodies typical Hanseatic values that have helped merchants in Hamburg to trade and offer services successfully for centuries and that are still just as relevant in today’s business world. Experienced entrepreneurs affiliated to VEEK support and accompany HSBA master’s students on their path to the management levels of business. This gives them a unique opportunity to benefit from the vast wealth of experience and networks of Hamburg’s entrepreneurs. Mentees may take part in some VEEK events for the duration of their studies. They can thus take part in the public part of the AGM and in the traditional ‘Versammlung eines Ehrbaren Kaufmanns’ on 31 December.

HSBA Master Students also benefit from a mentoring programme that is offered by the HSBA Alumni Association. HSBA's Alumni are experienced executives and business representatives from different industries and branches. HSBA's Alumni are excellent sparring partners for MSc students. Mentees especially profit from their experience of having studied a dual or part-time programme at HSBA and, in many cases, having lived abroad. HSBA's Alumni are excellent mentors for professional challenges, career strategies, personal development and networking.


Selection of our mentors


General Questions on the Mentoring Programme

What is the mentoring programme?

As part of the mentoring programme, the HSBA master’s students are mentored during the 30 or 24-month study programme by an experienced business representative, who is a member of the Versammlung Ehrbarer Kaufleute zu Hamburg e.V. (the Honourable Society of Hamburg Merchants), the HSBA Alumni Association, The content of the mentoring is decided upon individually by the mentor/mentee tandem partners. Generally it involves discussing topics such as professional challenges, networking or combining work, studies and personal life. In the case of international students who have just moved to Hamburg, the range of topics may be considerably broader.

Who is the mentoring programme aimed at?

The mentoring programme is in place for HSBA students on all Master’s study programmes. For the MSc Innovation Management the mentoring programme is offered by the HSBA Alumni Association. HSBA’s Alumni are experienced (young) executives from different industries and branches. The HSBA Alumni Association connects all of HSBA’s graduates and gives them the opportunity to keep in touch with former fellow students and to enhance and broaden their network, thereby including students from other years.
All programmes are organised as full- or part-time courses, i.e. the students generally are also involved in qualified professional work alongside their studies. Participation in the mentoring programme is optional for the students.

What topics can be discussed at meetings?

The content of the mentoring is decided upon individually by the mentor/mentee tandem partners. Generally it involves discussing topics such as specific professional challenges, networking or combining work, studies and personal life.

Career development matters as well as personality development may also be relevant. In the case of international students who have just moved to Hamburg, the range of topics may be considerably broader. In particular topics such as integration, access to local business networks and an understanding of the local business culture may be relevant.

Who can be a mentor?

Any member of the Versammlung Ehrbarer Kaufleute zu Hamburg e.V. (the Honourable Society of Hamburg Merchants), the Real Estate & Leadership Foundation e.V., the HSBA Alumni Association or executives responsible for personnel and budget, who are members of the German Shipowners' Association can become a mentor.

The members of Versammlung Ehrbarer Kaufleute zu Hamburg e.V., the HSBA Alumni Association and of the German Shipowners' Association generally run a trading business domiciled in Hamburg or work in the top management level of such a company. Members of the affiliated “Wirtschaftsjunioren” and former “Wirtschaftsjunioren” of Hamburg Chamber of Commerce can also act as a mentor.

How are mentors matched to mentees?

To ensure that a basis of trust can develop between the mentor and mentee, it is necessary for both parties to be satisfied with the match and for the chemistry to be right. The matching process is a very personal process. Firstly, the persons involved are asked in personal discussions about their expectations of the student or, vice versa, of the mentor. The students must write an abstract to apply in advance to take part in the programme, in which they outline their motivation for taking part. A student is then proposed to the mentor.

After a face-to-face meeting between the potential tandem partners, both parties can tell HSBA whether the meeting was successful or whether the search for the right match needs to be continued.

How long does mentoring continue?

Unless otherwise agreed by the tandem partners, the mentoring continues for the duration of the study programme (30 months). Shorter periods can be agreed for specific persons or topics.

The relationship between the mentor and the mentee often continues for much longer than the actual mentoring programme. Should the mentee not live in Hamburg we recommend the use of Skype, Adobe Connect or similar to meet online.

Is there an organisational framework?

In principle the tandem partners are free to decide on their own framework. However, we recommend setting fixed dates, e.g. a jour fixe at certain intervals. The partners can agree individually on how and how often to meet. Most of the tandem partners meet every 6 to 8 weeks. The tandem partners generally meet at the offices of the mentor or use HSBA’s facilities, which are made available for these meetings.

What other offerings are available?

As part of the mentoring programme of the Versammlung Ehrbarer Kaufleute zu Hamburg e.V. (the Honourable Society of Hamburg Merchants), the mentees are permanent guests at the events of the association. The events allow the mentees to expand their network or to get to know interesting guest speakers. The mentors/mentees get-together takes place at the beginning of the semester (beginning of April, end of October). All mentees and mentors as well as other representatives of the association are invited to this event where they can share their experiences and expand their network.

Workshops for mentors and mentees about the mentoring programme are held at regular intervals. Mentors can also hold supervision meetings on request. For the mentors, there are various ways of sharing experiences, such as regular mentor meetings or the informal mentor meet-up.

What are the options for resolving problems?

In addition to the option of supervision meetings, you can contact the programme head at any time, who will assist you in resolving the issue. Conflicts can often be avoided by agreeing beforehand on mutual expectations and by giving each other structured feedback. If necessary the tandem partners can be split and the matching process starts again.

Who do I speak to if I am interested in the programme?

The programme head Katrin Schramm will be happy to hear from you.

Is the mentoring programme evaluated?

Mentors and mentees are surveyed regularly on an anonymous basis in relation to the mentoring programme. The results of the evaluation are used by HSBA’s quality management. Continuous further development is thus ensured.

Mentor Questions

How do I become a mentor?

If you are a member of the Versammlung Ehrbarer Kaufleute zu Hamburg (VEEK), HSBA Alumni Association or of the “Wirtschaftsjunioren” or former “Wirtschaftsjunioren” and are interested in the mentoring programme, simply get in touch with the programme head. We can have a face-to-face meeting and discuss what type of mentee fits your profile and your personality.

What can I expect as a mentor?

You can expect highly motivated and talented master’s students, often with an international background. In addition to putting you in touch with the mentee and the framework programme surrounding the mentoring programme, HSBA as a young, dynamic business school offers mentors a large number of interesting specialist and networking events such as guest lectures, symposia and conferences.  In addition to the pleasure of helping the next generation on its way, you can thus expect a large number of new contacts, new knowledge and impetus.

How much work does being a mentor involve?

In addition to attending the introductory workshop and taking part in some networking events, the work involved is mainly in relation to the time spent on actual meetings with the mentee. The frequency and duration can be agreed freely between the mentor and the mentee. Most tandem partners meet at regular intervals of every 6 to 8 weeks. The frequency and intensity of the meetings generally depends on the mentee’s topics – in some phases there will be no great need for meetings, while in other, for example during a crisis related to work or study, more support may be needed.

Are there meet-ups for mentors?

Mentors meet regularly for informal mentor meet-ups. All mentors and master’s students are invited to a get-together twice a year (beginning of April, end of October). The relaxed atmosphere at the get-togethers provides the opportunity to talk to other mentors, students and HSBA employees.

There is also an annual mentor meeting where the mentors can share experiences and develop the mentoring programme further. 

Is there preparatory training for mentors?

Before the mentors meet their mentees, they take part in training that prepares them for their task and clarifies any questions, also on the role of the mentor.

What if I don’t have an answer to a mentees' question?

Depending on the nature of the question, you can either get the programme head involved or discuss the question within the mentor team. There are different formats for sharing experiences, from the informal mentor meet-up to a direct face-to-face discussion between mentors. A supervision meeting will also be helpful in individual cases.