We are a growing network of female leaders and changemakers, who have all studied a sustainability-related master program. Our roots are in the Master of International Business and Sustainability (now: Master of Innovation, Business and Sustainability, MIBAS) at Hamburg University. By connecting female MIBAS students with experienced female sustainability leaders through mentoring, we enable the next generation of students to gain insights into diverse professional opportunities. Let’s talk, connect and grow together.
To find a mentor or simply have a conversation with a female MIBAS or MIBAS+ alumni, scroll through the mentor profiles below.
You can schedule a meeting or call with the person whose career path interests you most. The first chat should be around 30 minutes.
During your conversation, you can discuss any professional, career-related or even personal topics on your mind with your mentor.
Find a profile that matches your interests
What is our mission?
Talk.Connect.Grow. is on a mission to support female MIBAS master students by connecting them with a network of former female MIBAS and alumnae from related fields (MIBAS+). With few barriers to entry in this program, the next generation of MIBAS graduates guidance, inspiration and opportunities to help them launch their careers. Mentors also benefit from being part of our growing network of female leaders and changemakers.
Who is behind it?
We, Caro, Marie and Theresa, have known each other since the bachelor's program and are MIBAS graduates of the first cohorte (2015/2016). At that time, we did not have many female role models, and were not shown how to best apply this academic background to our careers. But times have changed. There are now many inspiring personalities who work in the field of sustainability across sectors, and in various jobs, and positions. We want to share this diversity, inspire current students and graduates and build a growing network of female leaders and change agents with sustainability background!
Are you with us?
Become a mentor
Are you a female graduate from MIBAS or a similar sustainability management program? Do you have at least two years of work experience and would like to support current MIBAS students and graduates to start their careers? Welcome aboard, mentor!
After sending us some background information about yourself we will contact you with more details about the program.
If you have any questions before registering, feel free to browse through the FAQ below or contact us via email.
What does the mentoring offer?Mentoring is a relationship between an experienced person (mentor), who shares his/her professional knowledge, experiences and insights with a less experienced person (mentee). The aim is to support the mentee in finding and pursuing his/her career path through conversations, recommendations and possibly connections with the help of the mentor’s network. While the conversations in a mentoring relationship can include a development on a professional and personal level, the mentor should not be regarded as a coach or trainer. Mentors are not trained to provide counselling sessions for their mentees – instead, their strength lies in sharing their personal experiences in a field that interests the mentee. In the case of Talk.Connect.Grow., we believe that in a good mentoring relationship, the vibes between mentor and mentee must fit. Therefore, we do not “match” mentor and mentees together but leave the initiative to the students: Mentees contact one (or more) potential mentors, have a first chat with them, and if they would like to continue the conversation and build a “real” mentoring relationship, they can easily ask the mentor if she has the capacities to meet on a regular basis.
Why does the plattform only target women?We are still living in a world where most CEOs, board directors, entrepreneurs, and other leaders are male. Some might argue that this is because many females do not want these positions, however, we believe that the real reason why so many well-educated, smart and ambitious women don't have a top position – and if they do are often paid less than their male co-workers – is because we have a lot of internal and external pressures, triggered by the system we are living in. While most men cannot relate to this pressure we are feeling – as well as the questions and fears we have – we know that there are many women who do understand us. Female leaders and change agents who have already pursued the path you are interested in. Let them support you. Let’s talk about it, let’s connect and grow together. By bringing together female students and alumni, we can share and be energized by inspiration, connect to like-minded people and to build a network in which we actively support each other.
How is this different from a MIBAS Alumni Association?Talk.Connect.Grow. differs from a standard alumni network in four key ways. First, we are more exclusive, as we only target female mentees and mentors. This allows us to build a trustful network, which makes participation easier and helps us to grow sustainably over time. Second, our goal is to create real connections between our members that help them support each other. These connections can be between a mentee and mentor, but also between mentors (as well as between the mentees) during our network meetings. Third, we expand the boundaries of “only alumni” by enabling an (bilateral) exchange between students and alumni, which ideally helps both sides mutually. Fourth, we include mentors into our program that have not studied the MIBAS, but similar programs at other universities, and who now work in the field of sustainability.
How much time should I plan as a mentor/mentee?The scope of a mentorship at Talk.Connect.Grow. is completely up to the mentees’ and mentors’ individual capacities and needs. The mentorships can range from only one phone call about career opportunities and choices, to a structured, long-term companionship of the mentor and the mentee. In this case they have the time and capacity to build a trustful relationship, set concrete goals for the mentee, and talk on a regular basis about the fulfilment of the goals and challenges that come with it. We encourage students to reach out to a potential mentor by scheduling a first meeting and – if they feel like this mentor could help them in a longer period – ask about the mentor’s capacities.
How do I schedule a session?A session is initiated by a student or recent graduate, who reaches out to a female alumni via the “let’s connect” button on each profile. The meeting is booked via Calendly, where the mentors offer these time slots when they are available. The first session is usually 30 minutes, and is for the student to ask questions about the female alumni’s experience – in career, profession, and personal interests (see the “talk to me about” field of each profile). If this first exchange was helpful and both parties want to continue the relationship, the mentee can ask for a follow-up call, which can then lead to a mentor-mentee relationship.
How can I cancel/reschedule an appointment? (both sides)You can cancel or reschedule your appointment via Calendly. However, please respect the time of your mentor/mentee and only reschedule when completely necessary (https://help.calendly.com/hc/en-us/articles/223145167-How-to-cancel-reschedule-and-make-changes-to-an-event).
What does MIBAS / MIBAS+ actually mean?MIBAS (Master of Innovation, Business and Sustainability, former: Master of International Business and Sustainability) is a master programm at the university of Hamburg. If you are interested: https://www.wiso.uni-hamburg.de/studienbuero-sozialoekonomie/studiengaenge/ma-mibas.html MIBAS+ refers to mentors and network members who did not study the MIBAS program, but a related program at another university and now work in the field of sustainability. We believe that our mentees can also learn a lot from MIBAS+ mentors, and their presence enriches our network meetings.
What should I bring as a mentor, what skills do I need?As a mentor, no specific skills are required (except for a successful MIBAS certificate, or a similar degree). However, you should be willing to share your own experiences, including the mistakes you might have made. This means that you should be able to reflect on yourself and your career. While the first chat is usually around 30 min, you should be generally open to a long-term mentoring relationship (usually 6 months or even longer), which includes regular meetings (physically or virtually) with your mentee, at least every 6-8 weeks. During those meetings, you should be willing to listen to your mentee, engage with her career goals (even if they are different from yours), and help her to achieve those by giving recommendations, setting goals, and empowering her in any way you can.
I did not study MIBAS, but I work in the sustainability sector. Can I still become a mentor?Yes, you can become a member, too. Please feel free to send us an email.
What should I bring as a mentee?As a mentee, you should be a current student or recent graduate (up to two years after graduation) of the Master of International Business / Innovation, Business and Sustainability from Hamburg University.
I did not study MIBAS, can I still participate?We are currently limiting our network to students and recent graduates of the Master of International Business and Sustainability or Master of Innovation, Business and Sustainability from Hamburg University. If you are not enrolled in this program but would like to participate in our network, please feel free to reach out to us so we can learn more.
How does it work? How can I book a session?Our goal is to create a first connection between female MIBAS students and mentors to initiate a potential mentorship. You can easily meet your potential mentor in three steps: 1. Check out the profiles of the female MIBAS / MIBAS+ alumni who are in our network: which jobs, companies, careers are most interesting for you? Who would you like to talk to about careers, motivation, or simply daily routines? Feel free to visit their homepages and LinkedIn profiles (virtual stalking is welcome – this way you can get a good impression on whether a person can be your mentor). 2. Schedule a first call or meeting with the person you would like to get to know via the „Let‘s Connect“ button. Via Calendly, you can book a 30 minutes time slot with your mentor. She will be notified once you choose a date and confirm it. Together, you can also decide on a channel of communication. We usually recommend a video call to start, but you can also meet personally. 3. During your talk, you are welcome to ask any personal, professional and career-related questions. You don‘t need to prepare for it, but if you bring some concrete questions, it‘s easier to start the conversation. In the individual mentor profiles [link], you find the category „talk to me about…“, which shows the topics the mentors are happy to discuss with you. Of course you can also talk about other topics. During the talk, you may discuss how you feel about your studies and career opportunities at the moment and what paths you’re exploring.